Germaine Greer makes an important point in this article, highlighting the difference between planted woodland and succession woodland, or meadow. She regrets planting woodland twenty years ago, and she articulates the reasons why the UK Government’s proposed sell off of woodlands might actually have been a good thing. It is important to distinguish between pine plantations (monocultural and industrial, degrading soil and diminishing diversity) and mixed old growth forests, but the point about the value of meadows as well, is important.
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best new vision for global forestry is to transform conifer plantations to non clear-fell management, utilising the natural regeneration of forests to create mixed species, uneven age to create valuable, vigourous and vibrant forests… the eastern europeans have been leading in the area for decades, see http://prosilvaeurope.org, there is a UK/Wales group listed. http://bit.ly/lKCnnu