Forests in Europe - learning the lessons for the UK


Within days of each other in late November, two reports on woodland were published, one covering England, perhaps in anticipation of the interim report from the Independent Forestry Panel on the future direction of forestry and woodland policy in England, the other taking a broader view of the whole of the UK. The report from Plantlife - Forestry Recommissioned: Bringing England’s woodlands back to life is typically self-serving of this charity, and sneering of others (1). Plantlife’s track record is long on advocating the brutalisation of woodland, and for which they have been criticised in their membership magazine. It is probably why they weren’t part of the 20 forestry and wildlife bodies that produced the other report - The State of the UK’s Forests, Woods and Trees: Perspectives from the sector (2) which eschews the tabloid approach of Plantlife’s report, but ends up delivering the platitudinous in its emerging themes.

Primary, undisturbed forest in Europe

Long before these came out, I became engrossed in reports on European forestry for what they could tell me about forests and wildland. In writing the report on the status of wildland in Europe for the Scottish Government, I had used data on Europe from the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010 (FRA 2010) produced by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) (3). It opened my eyes to the extent of state ownership and protection of Europe’s forests (4) and of the existence of primary forest in Europe (5). Early this year, the FAO brought out a report on the State of the World’s Forests 2011 (6) to kick off the UN’s International Year of Forests 2011. It is based on the FRA 2010 and, in its regional analysis, finds that Europe has a relatively high percentage of forest area classified as primary forest (26%) when compared with the global primary forest area (36%). Unsurprisingly, Latin America contains over half of the world’s primary forests (57 percent) which is, like Europe, mostly located in inaccessible areas. The report also found that the forest area in Europe designated for conservation purposes had doubled over the last 20 years.

More recently in June, FOREST EUROPE (Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe) launched its State of Europe’s Forests 2011 report, derived from the national reporting of member countries on a range of quantitative indicators submitted to the Forest Europe Liaison Unit in Norway (7). In many ways, it covers similar ground to the FRA 2010 data, but its purpose is to provide policy makers in the 46 member countries of FOREST EUROPE with a common vision and strategic goals for protecting and managing European forests. The value of this report, and of the European forest data of the FAO report, is the context it provides for UK woodland – how do we compare? While there is increasing acknowledgement that our woodland coverage is derisory in relation to most of Europe – it does get a mention in The State of the UK’s Forests, Woods and Trees report - there are other hard lessons from continental Europe that should be learned.

In assessing the protection of wildland across Europe, I had looked at national protected area legislation for its ability to prohibit or restrict extractive use. Altogether, 28 countries across Europe have a strictly protected area type in their national legislation that can designate for IUCN Category Ia or b. In the main, this legislation covers the designation of a range of strictly protected areas on the basis of their intact and functioning natural habitats and processes, rather than protection of particular habitats or species. However, forest laws were often the forerunner in many countries to this contemporary protected area legislation. Forest regulations began to be issued after the 15th century (8). The period from the 16th century to the beginning of the 19th century was characterized by intense forest use for the growing industries of glassworks, forges and furnaces, as well as concentrated forest grazing and use of needle and leaf litter as animal bedding. Most of these regulations were intended to prevent the heavy exploitation and over-use of forests and secure the wood supply through prohibiting further clearings or requiring reforestation, and regulating grazing and the collection of firewood. They were the predecessors of the later state forest laws, which were passed during the 19th century in Central European countries.

It is this history of unsustainable forest use in Europe that explains why primary unmanaged forests of native species, where ecological processes have not been significantly disturbed, have survived only in areas which are either inaccessible because of their difficult terrain, or are unsuitable for agricultural use because of their soil conditions and drainage. Thus forest reserves established to protect this remnant primary forest were mainly in remote areas, such as at the montane and subalpine levels in mountainous areas. Today, 29 countries in Europe report areas of primary forest (6) and these are associated with the mountainous areas of the Alps (Italy, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Slovenia) the Carpathians (Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine) the Balkan range (Bulgaria) the Caucasus Mountains (Georgia) the Lesser Caucasus Mountains (Turkey, Azerbaijan) and the boreal forests of the Ural Mountain taiga in Russia, and in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden) but not entirely so since countries like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania also report primary forest. Large areas, of over 100,000 hectares of forests undisturbed by man, can be found in Sweden, Turkey, Estonia, Georgia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia, as well as in Russia. Small areas are reported for Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and the Ukraine.

Looking for a comparator with UK forests - Liechtenstein

Russia contributes 97% (256.5m hectares) of the total area of primary forest in Europe. This is unsurprising given that it has the largest land area, the lowest population density (9/km2) after Iceland, and that with its forest cover of 49% it contributes 80% of the total forest area in Europe (6,7). It is for this reason that the forestry data for Europe are sometimes given without Russia since this one country can tend to skew trends significantly. At 70 times the size of the UK, the lessons that Russia undoubtedly has for us are likely to be unheeded anyway. So I have chosen a country with a similar population density to the UK (253/km2), but which at 160 km2 is only 0.06% of the area of the UK, or just under half the area of the Isle of Wight. Despite its small size, the Principality of Liechtenstein (225 people/km2), sandwiched between Switzerland and Austria in the central Alps, has the third highest proportion of its total land area as primary, undisturbed natural forest (12.5%) after Estonia (22.7%) and Russia (15.7%) (6). The forest cover of Liechtenstein is 42%, and so nearly a third of its forest is primary (9). Considering that the forest cover of the UK is only about 13%, and that we have no primary forest, then this small country has done very much better than us.

Liechtenstein consists of a main valley and a mountainous area. The western border with Switzerland follows the course of the River Rhine along a valley floor at 430m of agriculture and settlement that takes up about 43% of the area of the country. Steep slopes rise up to the east from the valley bottom to a mountainous area with a highest point of 2,599m. Of the 1600 plant species, about half are mountain flora, the rest are valley and slope flora. It is these slopes, north-south ridges and the three high-lying valleys of the Alpine area in the mountains where most of the forest is found, and which have been far less affected by modern civilization than the narrow settlement area in the valley. It is home to four large species of deer, chamois, ibex, snow hare and marmot, as well as the golden eagle, Alpine ptarmigan, black grouse, three-toed woodpecker, and the boreal owl (10).

The first thing to note about the forest area in Liechtenstein is that 92% is publicly owned (9). That puts it at eleventh place in the list after the nine countries that have 100% public ownership and Albania that has 98% (6). The UK comes in at the bottom third with 35% public ownership. Every forest area in Liechtenstein has a purpose within a framework of the National Forest Inventory, and which recognises forest ecosystems meeting the needs of wild nature, recreation, wood production, and a protective function for forest that is common across continental Europe (9). This framework is at the heart of Liechtenstein’s Forestry Act (11) which also requires all forest areas to have a binding management plan. That does not, however, mean that all forest in Liechtenstein is actively managed or extracted, since under Article 26 - Management Principles in the Forestry Act, forests are be maintained "as near-natural, with natural regeneration of native tree species, a reasonable proportion of old and dead wood present, and with minimal maintenance where the conservation of forests or ensuring the protection and welfare functions require it" The expression of those management principles in the forests of Liechtenstein will become clear as we look at the indicators for forestry across Europe and how different countries rate. The Forestry Act also has a presumption for forest areas to be accessible to the public, subject to restrictions on types of access depending on the purpose of the forest (Article 15). It is interesting to note that 8% of Liechtenstein’s forest area is given over to a solely recreational function (9).

Forestry and wood production across Europe

Many people see forests principally in terms of wood production, but only 32% of Liechtenstein’s forest area is used as productive forest (9). This is a low proportion compared to most of the rest of Europe, where two-thirds give over more than 50% of their forest area to productive and multiple use, including the UK at 87% (6). The reason for the low proportion in Liechtenstein is due to the extent of forest that is protected rather than extracted, more of which later. The volume of felled wood in Liechtenstein is extremely low by comparison with other European countries, which is unsurprising given that the absolute area given over to productive forest is also small. The top five producing countries are Russia, Sweden, France, Germany and Finland that produce 62% of the total felled volume. The order of contribution of countries is consistent with the absolute area of forest they have that is given over to production, although Russia has the lowest felling rate per hectare of all the countries in Europe. The UK contributes about 1% of the total felled volume.

As a result of the Forestry Act, the replacement of felled wood in Liechtenstein occurs solely through natural regeneration, without any seeding or planting (9). The Republic of Moldova also reports regeneration by only natural means, with the Russian Federation at 98%, and Slovenia, Greece, Croatia, Serbia, Georgia, Italy and Estonia reporting greater than 90% natural regeneration (7). In fact, excluding Russia, nearly 70 percent of the total forest area in Europe is regenerated naturally or through natural expansion. The UK is in the bottom six countries where 22% and less occurs through natural regeneration, the others being Iceland, Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Poland. Coppicing is common only in a few European countries, with the highest proportion of around 10% of their forest area as coppiced for the Netherlands and France, with the other countries of Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, the UK, Slovakia and Bulgaria reporting 5% and less as coppiced (7).

The low level of natural regeneration for the UK is unsurprising given that we have, along with Iceland, Ireland and Denmark, greater than 76% of our forest area as plantation forest (7, 12) while Liechtenstein reports none, and Croatia, Georgia, Greece and Slovenia have less than 5% of their forest area as managed plantation. Moreover, those four countries with the greatest proportion of their forest area as plantation also have the most area (nearly 50% or more) dominated by introduced tree species. In contrast, Liechtenstein has no area of introduced tree species, nor does Finland, Estonia, Serbia, Latvia, Belarus, and Georgia, with Lithuania having a very low share of less than 0.5 percent. Overall, plantations forests with predominantly introduced species cover about 20 million hectares, or 9 percent of the total forest area in Europe, when calculated without Russia. The UK forest area is about 1.3% of the total forest area in Europe (without Russia) and yet we contribute 11% of the area of plantation forest. Our forestry for wood production is dominated by introduced species in plantations, whereas much of Europe relies on wood production from native forests replenished by natural regeneration.

Life in the death and decay of Europe's forests

Standing and lying deadwood is an important habitat for a large number of forest species such as fungi, insects and other invertebrates (spiders, mites, centipedes, millipedes) as well as being a refuge and nesting place for several mammals and birds. The amount of deadwood varies considerably between undisturbed and managed forests, and between different forest types. The lowest amounts of deadwood are found in floodplains, mires and swamp forests and in forests with introduced species. The later development stages of natural, unmanaged forests are characterized by a large amount and diversity of deadwood. In general, lying deadwood is more species rich than is standing, but some species or species assemblages are limited to standing or downed deadwood only, indicating that both deadwood types are important.

The Forestry Act of Liechtenstein gives recognition to the importance of deadwood (see earlier). Unfortunately, Liechtenstein was not able to provide information on the content of deadwood in their forests for the FOREST EUROPE report, but 21 countries, which account for 92 percent of forest in the region, did provide information. The average volume of both standing and lying deadwood is about 20.5 m3/hectare across Europe (about 10 m3/hectare if Russia is left out) (7). Slovakia has an astonishing volume of deadwood at 40.6m3/ha, the Ukraine is next but considerably less at about 26 m3/ha. A further 10 countries have between 10 and 23m3/ha, but the UK and Denmark are at the bottom again, having less than 5m3/ha. This is likely due to the high proportion of plantation forest in the UK and Denmark, and which is dominated by introduced species (see earlier).

Protected forest areas of Europe

A protected forest area is normally associated with nature conservation, but across Europe there are forest areas that are protected not for nature conservation, but for the protective function they provide in stabilising soils, dealing with mountain torrents and water flows in flood plains, and protecting settlements from natural hazards such as rock falls and snow avalanches. At 60%, Liechtenstein has a surprisingly high proportion of its forest area under protection (9), and it is only Azerbaijan, Georgia, Italy and Slovenia, along with Liechtenstein that have greater than 50% of their forest area under protection for both nature and protective forest (7). Liechtenstein is an example of a country where the protection of forest is split between 20% protected for nature and 40% protected for the protective function of its forests. I will come back to protective forest areas.

An early example of forest protection in Europe comes from Romania. In the 14th century, official measures for restricting access and use were by means of a “letter of the forbidden forest” (carti de paduri oprite). In these forests called branisti nobody had the right to hunt, fish, cut trees, graze cattle, mow the hay, pick fruits and mushrooms, etc. without the owner’s permission (13). Liechtenstein has a contemporary process for protecting forests under its law on Forest Reserves and Special Forest Reserves from 2000 (14). The aims of the law include the conservation of ecologically valuable forest communities and their protection from harmful interference; ensuring long-term undisturbed natural processes and dynamic developments; and protection for rare forest types, plants and animal species. What I particularly like is the aim for “respect for the knowledge potential, inspiration and value of forests uninfluenced by man”

The two types of forest reserve differ in their management approach. A Forest Reserve (Waldreservat) is essentially a strictly protected reserve where “the undisturbed, dynamic development be left and in which all human activities are undesirable”. Liechtenstein has nine Forest Reserves, at a total area of 1,307.7ha. The largest at 922ha is Garsaelli Forest Reserve in the Samina Valley, one of the main valleys in the mountainous area, and through which the Samina River flows north into Austria. Areas protected in this way by Liechtenstein are classified under the IUCN system as Category Ib. A Special Forest Reserve (Sonderwaldflächen) is a forest reserve where management intervention is allowed to retain species dependent on that management. They are classified by Liechtenstein as IUCN Category IV. There are 21, generally smaller, Special Forest Reserves, totalling 445.4 ha.

While a few countries, like Slovenia, Italy and Germany, have a higher proportion of their forest area protected for nature under a range of differing protection regime, it is the high ratio of forest area in Liechtenstein that is strictly protected through non-intervention compared to actively managed that marks it out amongst European countries: at 75%, Liechtenstein is followed by Estonia at 60% and Finland at 37% of their overall protected forest area being strictly protected (7). Sizeable areas of forest of over 100,000 hectares that are strictly protected can be found in Russia, Finland, Italy, Ukraine, Estonia, Sweden, Romania and Belarus. As would be expected, the 28 countries that report having strictly protected areas of forest, are also the ones that report having primary, undisturbed woodland, and which have national legislation that can designate for strictly protected reserves (see above). Russia contributes by far the most at 83.8% of total, with Finland, Italy, Ukraine, Greece, Estonia, Sweden and Romania coming in order after Russia. Overall, there are 14.67m hectares of strictly protected forest in Europe, representing 1.4% of the total forest area of Europe (1.1% without Russia). The UK reports that 5% of its forest area is protected, none of which is strictly protected through non-intervention (15). The latter is unsurprising since we have no legislation that can specifically designate for a strictly protected area. Some 15% is regarded as having minimal intervention, while the rest is actively managed. Even then, that proportion with minimal intervention is highly suspect, considering this comment relating to the data provided in the UK return (15):
“No good data available on this; taken to be 15% of the total MCPFE Class 1”

Protection forest, or forest with a protective function, the other form of protected forest, can be dated back to the 14th century in Europe. Forestry in Switzerland was mostly regulated by the communes as “rights of usage” (16). The right to cut down trees for fuel or for timber was linked to farms or families, or was owned by communities such as villages, towns, monasteries or other privileged groups. People without land or wealth had the right to cut off branches for fodder, to gather fallen wood for fuel and had grazing rights, but starting in the 14th century, several “banning letters” (Bannbriefe) prohibited or restricted certain or all kinds of use of the forest within a defined area. Communes in mountainous regions often issued such banning letters to preserve forests that provided protection from avalanches, rockfalls and torrents. One example is the Andermatt banning letter from 1397 that, to secure protection for this settlement in the Swiss Alps, prohibited any utilisation of wood or litter . By the beginning of the 16th century, protective forests were also being established in Austria (17). The cutting of wood and litter harvesting was prohibited to avoid avalanches and gully erosion on the steep slopes above the village of Oberinntal in the Tyrol in 1517, and at Möllta in Carinthia in 1518.

The steep slopes and easy erodibility of the rock at the edge of the mountainous area in Liechtenstein result in debris that is washed from the mountains into the valley bottom. For many centuries, these rockslides have characterized the landscape of the Rhine Valley and represented a constant threat for the settlements in the valley. Protection forests substantially improve the stability of the slopes and erosion is largely avoided. Also, the braking effect of forests against rockfall and the stabilization of the snowpack help to limit risks arising from natural hazards (18). Protection forests are 40% of the forest cover of Liechtenstein, and are considered effective against virtually all existing natural hazards, as well as the most cost-effective and long lasting protective measure. Their protection comes from Article 24 in the Forestry Act (11):
“Assurance measures
Where it requires the protection of human life or significant property, the government ensures the safety of the starting zones of avalanches and slides, erosion and rockfall areas” 

More than 20 percent of Europe’s forests are reported to fulfil protective functions for soil, water and other ecosystem services, as well as to protect infrastructure (7). Good coverage is observed for countries in the Alpine area, such as Switzerland whose Forestry Act of 1991 has a similar aim as Liechenstein’s in saying that protective forests are intended to contribute to the protection of human life and important material assets against avalanches, landslides, erosion and rockfall (natural events)” (19). Under Article 37 Protective forest (schutzwald), public money is provided for the maintenance of the protective forest, including the prevention and remediation of forest damage that endanger the protective forest". In Austria, protective forest is called “bannwald” (banned forest) and is protected in the state Forestry Act of 1975 (20). There is also bannwald and schutzwald under the forest legislation in the German states of Hesse (21) and Bavaria (22) where small forested areas near to urban populations are protected for their function in regulating natural water cycles and cleaning air. Bannwald is also found in the forest legislation of Baden-Wuerttemberg, but these have more to do with protection of the “undisturbed natural development of a forest community with their animal and plant species” (23). Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden also have significant areas of protective forest, but it is Russia that has the largest area of protective forest at 75m hectares (7). The UK reports that it has no area of protective forest, saying that while some areas of forest have protective functions, no areas are designated as protected forest for these functions (24).

Connectivity and fragmentation in Europe's forests

There is one last indicator for forestry across Europe that I want to look at. I have written before about Forest Habitat Networks and their importance in improving ecological connectivity in our farmed landscapes by reducing the hostility of this predominantly open landscape to the passage of wild nature (25). The degree of forest connectivity across Europe was mapped for the FOREST EUROPE report, based on the overall forest cover and the distance between patches of forest. The map shows a remarkable connectivity that sweeps up from northern Spain, through central Europe and into Scandinavia (7). In contrast, the NW coastal fringe of Europe from France to Denmark is highly fragmented, as is the whole of the UK and Ireland. In calculating an index of connectivity for this mapping, Liechtenstein was found to have the highest connectivity of its forest area (all forest maximally connected, no fragmentation) with Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Slovenia not far behind. By comparison, the UK came near the bottom of forest connectivity, with Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands not much better, and only Ireland, Iceland and Malta below it (7).

How do we compare with Europe's forests?

In summary, the UK has one of the lowest forest covers in Europe; has no primary, undisturbed forest area; has no strictly protected forest area; has no protective forest that is designated; is amongst countries in Europe that have the lowest rate of natural regeneration of forests and the lowest quantity of standing and lying deadwood; has one of the highest proportions of plantation forestry in Europe with the highest domination by non-native, introduced species; is one of only a few countries that coppices woodland; and is in amongst those countries in Europe with the lowest connectivity and highest fragmentation of its forest cover.

The Progress Report of the Independent Panel on Forestry came out a few days ago, adding to the growing pile (26). My response to the panel’s consultation on which this Progress Report is partly based, leaned heavily towards countering what I predicted would be a heavy bias towards a prescription for managing every woodland (27). I pointed out in my response that trees are in themselves wildlife and did not need managing:
“I also take great exception to the often repeated assertion that woodlands in neglect of human management are "incapable .......of delivering the full benefits we want for people, places, wildlife and the environment". The mantra as always is that human management enhances biodiversity and habitat quality and, as usual, there is no attempt to defend or even explain this assertion”

The Progress Report has confirmed my every prejudice, giving this astonishing explanation for the need for management (26):
"Around 1900 woodland comprised less than 5% of England. Nevertheless distinctive plant and animal assemblages had survived, particularly in our ancient woods managed as coppice and in veteran trees in wood pastures"

It continues with this hyperbole:
"Unfortunately this is a fragmented resource of variable environmental quality, with much of the native woodland component being in poor ecological condition and unmanaged. Many native woods and key forestry plantations are in need of appropriate management to best deliver for nature"

Best deliver for nature? To these people on the Panel, only the species in artificially created woodland habitats like coppice woodland and livestock grazed wood pastures are important, and not the species of woodland interior habitats, the geophytes, the fungi, mosses and liverworts, insects, carnivorous centipedes, detrivorous millipedes and woodlice, and the decomposition and many other natural processes that make up the ecology of a woodland. This tells you all you need to know about the bias of the people driving this Panel, and their aim for woodland in England as a resource for managed biodiversity rather than as a wild, natural habitat. It is also, from an historical perspective, important for us to understand why it is that forest cover dropped to such a low level, and how that and our response to it has shaped many of the factors revealed in the comparison with the rest of Europe given in this article, but you will get no sense of this from the report. Instead, there is a constant linking throughout of woodland creation to its subsequent management, such as:
"Future woodland management must be viewed alongside the creation of new woods if we are to avoid creating the unmanaged woods of tomorrow"

I wrote last year about non-intervention and the richness of wild nature in the few woodland areas that I have found unmanaged because of their being in awkward terrain that made their access and use very difficult (28). These woodlands have no strict protection, nor even much recognition outside of a few fortunate people aware of their existence. I should take the Panel on a walk in one of these woodlands, because it is only through experience that we can develop the “respect for the knowledge potential, inspiration and value of forests uninfluenced by man” that guides Liechtenstein’s Forest Reserves Act, that small little country in the Alps that’s seems to get so much right with its forests, when we get so much wrong.

Mark Fisher, 10 December 2011

(1) Plantlife (2011) Forestry Recommissioned: Bringing England’s woodlands back to life. Plantlife: Salisbury

(2) The State of the UK’s Forests, Woods and Trees: Perspectives from the sector. A report to mark the International Year of Forests, Woodland Trust 2011

(3) Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010: Main report. Forestry Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome, March 2010

(4) England's Public Forest Estate - public ownership now and for future generations, Self-willed land, February 2011

(5) Forest, Rocks, Torrents, Self-willed land, October 2011

(6) State of the World’s Forests 2011, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 2011

(7) State of Europe’s Forests 2011. Status and Trends in Sustainable Forest Management in Europe. FOREST EUROPE, UNECE and FAO June 2011

(8) History of Protected Forest Areas in Europe, Carlwelzholz, J & Johann, E, In Protected Forest Areas in Europe - Analysis and Harmonisation (PROFOR): Results, Conclusions and Recommendations. Frank, 2007. Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape (BFW). Vienna, Austria.

(9) Country Reports –Liechtenstein, Global Forest Resources Assessment, Forestry Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 2010

(10) Flora and Fauna, Principality of Liechtenstein

(11) Forestry Act of 25 March 1991 (LGBl. 1991 No. 42) Liechtenstein

(12) United Kingdom. Reporting Form 4.3: Naturalness$FILE/soefind4.3.pdf

(13) Country Report – Romania, Biris et al., In Protected Forest Areas in Europe - Analysis and Harmonisation (PROFOR): Results, Conclusions and Recommendations. Frank, 2007. Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape (BFW). Vienna, Austria.

(14) Law on Forest Reserves and Special Forest Reserves of 29 November 2000 (LGBI. 2000 No. 230) Liechtenstein

(15) United Kingdom. Reporting Form 4.9: Protected forests$FILE/soefind4.9.pdf

(16) Country Report- Switzerland, Commarmot et al., In Protected Forest Areas in Europe - Analysis and Harmonisation (PROFOR): Results, Conclusions and Recommendations. Frank, 2007. Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape (BFW). Vienna, Austria.

(17) Country Report – Austria, Frank et al, In Protected Forest Areas in Europe - Analysis and Harmonisation (PROFOR): Results, Conclusions and Recommendations. Frank, 2007. Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, Natural Hazards and Landscape (BFW). Vienna, Austria.

(18) Dealing with natural hazards, Zürcher, J & Wohlwend, S. Office for Forest, Nature and Landscape, Liechtenstein July 2006

(19) Federal Act on Forest of 4 October 1991, Switzerland

(20) Forestry Act of 3 July 1975 (BGBl. Nr. 440/1975) Austria

(21) Article 22: Protection forest, primeval forest. Hessian Forestry Act September 2002

(22) Article 10: Protection forest, Article 11: Bannwald. Forest Law for Bavaria July 2005

(23) Article 32: Forest Reserves. Forest Law for Baden-Wuerttemberg August 1995, Baden-Wurttemberg state law civil service

(24) United Kingdom. Reporting Form 5.1: Protective forests – soil, water and other ecosystem functions$FILE/soefind5.1.pdf

(25) Open or closed – what is the natural landscape matrix of a wild Britain? Self-willed land, June 2009

(26) Independent Panel on Forestry - Progress Report 2011

(27) Call for Views: Response to the Independent Panel on Forestry, Dr Mark Fisher, Self-willed Land July 2011

(28) Walking the wild places, Self-willed land September 2010