Understanding the living landscape
Does anyone really understand how forests will respond to the rise in carbon dioxide? At the moment, for example, 425 different insects call oak trees ‘home’; how many will survive increased levels of CO2? New data-driven insight will come from a ground-breaking study recently featured on the BBC’s The One Show. LDA Design helped gain planning consent for this 10-year University of Birmingham project, which is one of the most comprehensive field studies of its kind in the world.
Carbon dioxide levels have risen by forty per cent since the industrial revolution, placing pressure on forests globally. The UK has the lowest woodland cover of any large European country and what remains is under threat from a changing climate.
Set up in a 50-acre woodland in Staffordshire, the ambitious Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR) project is now into its first year. University of Birmingham scientists are using a number of tall ‘ring’ structures and masts to pump waste CO2 from nearby factories into the forest to levels predicted in 50-70 years’ time. This will provide a step-change in our understanding of a mature woodland’s complex ecosystem and how it will respond to rising levels of carbon dioxide. The study will monitor forest growth, wildlife, pests and diseases.
LDA Design’s expert team provided landscape advice and Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment services for the University of Birmingham for this development in a sensitive landscape, helping to ensure this critical project provides the insight we need to protect the nation’s forests.
Please contact LDA Design’s Philip Brashaw for further details.