March 2020

Where do we plant all those trees that everyone thinks will help reduce global warming?

At the last election in Britain, all the main political parties promised the electorate that they would ensure millions of trees were planted. The current government is supporting the planting of 130,000 trees in urban centres (see HERE), using an (unattributed) image of the silver maple trees in Petersfield Square taken by Andy Moffat! In East Hampshire, the District Council has promised to plant a tree for each resident, namely 120,000 trees, over the next few years. However, it is not clear where, in many towns, space can be found to meet these targets – hard infrastructure dominates and green infrastructure is limited in area. The Petersfield Society has now launched a project to explore where in the parish sites can be identified for potential planting. Working jointly with colleagues in the Urban Forest Research Group in Forest Research, Andy Moffat is leading this citizen science project. Further information can be found HERE.

A small contribution to important wildfire research in New Zealand

Andy Moffat was pleased to be invited to participate in baseline vegetation monitoring as part of a large wildfire experiment whilst visiting New Zealand this year. The internationally supported research, led by Scion’s Rural Research Fire Group, sought to test an American hypothesis that convective heat transfer plays a more prominent role in fire spread than previously thought. The hypothesis has been tested in 2020 in a series of heavily instrumented fire experiments in mature gorse at Redcliffs Station, Rakaia Gorge, Canterbury. More information can be found on the Scion website and a video of the experimentation can be viewed HERE.