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Applying natural forestry concepts in an intensively managed landscape



Near-to-nature forestry is an attractive concept, but it is difficult to apply in a landscape where (i) the remaining fragments of original-natural forests are small and far apart; (ii) most large forests are secondary and very artificial; (iii) long-naturalized trees and other forest species are present throughout the country, and; (iv) natural disturbance regimes and their consequences cannot readily be observed. This paper summarizes the issues and problems relating to ancient seminatural woods and conifer plantation forests in Britain. Measures are indicated that would bring their management nearer to nature. Natural elements can be incorporated into stand composition, stand structure, processes and patterns, provided general principles are interpreted in a pragmatic and flexible manner.