We are constantly looking for effective, credible solutions to deal with the challenges facing trees and woods in the UK.

Research and evidence feeds directly into our practice as well as our policy, whether to understand the impact of climate change or to support a campaign to save ancient woodland. Knowledge is the key to ensuring we can engage people and inspire support, as well as develop and advocate strong, effective conservation techniques.

Our research programme themes

Misty morning hedgerows and woods in Somerset

Credit: David Noton Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

Land use change

We look at the big picture and the drivers of land use change in the UK. We know that the key to addressing climate change, tree disease and other pressures is through the creation of resilient landscapes. We use quality evidence to make decisions that benefit species, habitats and people.

Elm tree dying of Dutch elm disease

Credit: Winston Fraser / Alamy Stock Photo

Tree and woodland health

We use research to understand more about the pressures affecting the health of woods and trees, including tree diseases. It improves our understanding of the impacts of tree health threats so that we can manage and control them. 

Wood anemones in ancient woodland

Credit: Deborah Vernon / Alamy Stock Photo

Tree and woodland management

Our work in woodland management, regeneration and creation is based on the best available evidence. It shapes our decisions and is at the core of what we practice and promote.

Trees with pink blossom on a street with buildings and lots of vehicles

Credit: Philip Formby / WTML

Economics and ecosystem services

There is increasingly strong evidence and a growing consensus that woods and trees have a key role to play in climate change mitigation and adaptation, and in the delivery of ecosystem services. This evidence helps us advocate for policy that protects and recognises the value of woods and trees.

David Brass with woodland chickens

Credit: WTML

Trees on farmland

Scientific knowledge and methods developed over decades are the basis for our innovative work to integrate trees, woods and farming. We promote the biodiversity and landscape benefits of trees within agricultural systems.

Our research programme

Our research programme addresses evidence gaps and research priorities. It guides our conservation work to protect, restore and create woods in the UK.

We work with scientists on a wide range of projects, from PhDs to large, collaborative partnerships.

Juvenile pine marten on tree trunk

Research report

Conservation research prospectus

PDF  (11.37 MB)

We’re always seeking evidence that helps us to make conservation decisions, build cases and enhance our work on the ground. We are open to all enquiries that align with our research priorities.

Download the prospectus
Interested in working with us?

Our research funding programme will be open for new proposals in April 2020. If you'd like to discuss any ideas or would like to get involved, please get in touch.

Email: research@woodlandtrust.org.uk

Phone: 0330 333 3300

Who we work with

Research partners

We’re fortunate to be working with established experts and the next generation of scientists. Together we contribute to the conservation knowledge that's so important in shaping our future.

Investigating soil microbial decomposers

Justin Byrne, PhD, Newcastle University

We are funding Justin's PhD to map microbe communities that aid leaf litter decomposition and carbon cycling in woodland soils. Questions he's addressing include:

  • How do soil-microbial communities change as woodlands get older?
  • How do communities of soil decomposers develop in newly planted woods?

I am very proud to be producing work for the Woodland Trust and learning something new about the hidden life of woods below our feet.

Justin Byrne
PhD researcher, Newcastle University

Citizen scientists

We harness the efforts of dedicated volunteers to gather data on woods, trees and wildlife throughout the UK. This information is used help us protect ancient trees, assess the impact of climate change on wildlife and monitor tree health. 

Our citizen science projects
Leaves in blossom front cover

Publications

Our publications

Explore our database of publications, reports, case studies and documents on woodland conservation, our work and influencing national policy.

Start your search