Native woodland adaptation to climate change has been identified as an area that needs further investigation. ClimateXChange’s work in this area has so far had three outputs:

  • A workshop on Native Woodlands Adaptation to Climate Change in August 2012. The workshop brought together key stakeholders to explore what we know about the risks to native woodlands from climate change, their capacity to respond, and appropriate management responses. It also  considered the scope for providing greater support for woodland managers in relation to climate change, and outlined some of the key issues that will need to be addressed to enhance native woodlands’ adaptive capacity.
  • An Issues Paper, which develops some of the ideas from the workshop in order to stimulate further discussion and promote agreement about what the further policy-making, management and research priorities should be. The Issues Paper sets out the main issues around: the consequences for native woodlands of climate change; their capacity to respond; and possible management strategies, and poses some open questions to stimulate discussion.
  • A report exploring how the principles of the Flexible Adaptation Pathways approach could be applied to native woodland adaptation. The report lists a comprehensive set of options for biodiversity adaptation in Scottish native woodlands.

Most of Scotland’s rural land – 83% – belongs to private estates. In 2012 half of this land was owned by only 432 individuals or companies. As a result, land estates can be very large and carry out a range of land uses. 

Large land estates used for a variety of activities are likely to be affected by a range of climate change impacts. However, this also provides land estates managers with opportunities and flexibility to adapt to climate change.

Understanding how land estate managers are seeking to integrate adaptation and mitigation via changes in land-use or changes in business and income generation provides valuable insight into how government policies are supporting or hindering progress.

This paper is based on interviews with land estate managers regarding how they see the need for climate change adaptation. It also discusses how policy support for these estates can be more effective in the future.

Demonstration can be a powerful means to promote and encourage adaptation to climate change. On-the-ground, real-time demonstration of techniques and measures at specific locations creates a body of evidence about what works and helps to normalise adaptation actions. Demonstration facilities should ideally provide opportunities for face-to-face communication. They should actively promote dialogue between innovators of change, early adopters and the more conservative majority.

This brief looks at some of the demonstration work done in the forestry sector and the principles for good adaptation demonstrations.