The British Forestry Commission “look after more land and more trees than any other organisation in the country, shaping landscapes for people, wildlife and timber. It’s a job that never stops growing.” They are England’s largest land manager and take care of the nation’s forests which is around 20% of the country’s woodland.
The Forestry Commission was founded in September 1919 “to restore the nation’s woods and forests following the First World War, and the passing of the Forestry Act.” This year therefore, they are celebrating 100 years of work with various centenary events, tributes, shows and collaborations.
The Forestry Commission’s centenary celebrations include; A Tribute to Trees which allows visitors to add their own letter, poem, story or memory of the trees in your life. “From our forests and local parks, to trees that line our streets and back gardens, Tributes to Trees is a celebration of trees and woodlands everywhere.” The gallery can be found on their website and you can also upload your own thoughts here too.
Britain’s Poet Laurete (2009- 2019), Carol Ann Duffy has also taken part in the Forestry Commission’s 100th anniversary with a special poem unsurprisingly titled ‘FOREST’ which is “a celebration of the endurance and life-cycle of the forest, reminding us of our place in the natural world and how trees sustain life on earth.”
What’s more, Forestry England launched their ‘Writer’s in the Forest’ residency earlier this year in search of some great new and undiscovered creatives to tell their story about the forests. The successful pair, Zakiya Mckenzie and Tiffany Francis, were chosen from a high volume of applications and both can be found on their social media channels to follow their progress during the residency.
Last but not least, The Forestry Commission have launched a book of British forest to celebrate their 100th anniversary. British Forests: The Forestry Commission 1919 – 2019 is available now and tells the story of British woodland over the last one hundred years.
“Published to mark the centenary of the Forestry Commission, British Forests examines not only the organisation’s unique history but its role in research and the promotion of tree planting in both cities and countryside. The book features a selection of the nations’ forests and beautiful botanical illustrations of trees from Bedgebury Pinetum’s Florilegium Society.”
The book features a foreword by Jon Snow, a Chanel 4 News presenter, patron of Trees for Cities and the Chair of the Heart of England Forest. Snow said, “For me, the Forestry Commission ranks with the NHS and the Houses of Parliament as key to our British way of life. This wonderful book describes the Commission’s evolution over its first 100 years, but amid the vastly increased need for more trees in Britain, for timber, to help combat climate change and tree diseases the Forestry Commission continues to play an absolutely indispensable role.”