Aims of the T10Q project

The UK and Ireland have a long-established tradition of research in forestry. The forestry sector itself has diversified in recent years and is under increasing pressure to respond to the rapidly developing policy arena. Research is now undertaken in a more diverse range of institutions, with a trend away from dominance by traditional forestry schools towards involvement by a wider range of players. The definition of forestry and what it entails is the subject of debate in international circles as a response to changing public perceptions and environmental and social realities. To facilitate private–public communication we set up a project to identify the top ten forestry research questions to help guide future forestry research priorities.

The T10Q project

The project involved two separate online surveys and a workshop.

Phase 1 Online surveys in May-August 2008

Using an internet-based survey tool we asked stakeholders to participate anonymously in two surveys between May and July.

We sought the views of a large number of organisations and individuals connected with forestry and woodland management across the UK and Ireland.

The surveys were designed to engage with people with a professional interest in forestry and with those who own or manage forest.

The results of survey 1 contributed directly to the second phase of the project which was a two-day workshop held in Oxford to consolidate the emerging messages.


Phase 2 Workshop September 25th-26th 2008


The aim of the workshop was to pull together and explore in depth the issues raised by stakeholders in the earlier online survey.

A total of 51 people attended the 2-day Workshop. They included woodland owners and managers and people from key organisations who have an interest in the policy-relevant research agenda for forestry in the UK and Ireland.

The workshop will be documented in a collaboratively written paper which will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal.

The aim of the Workshop was to come up with a list of the Top Ten Questions in Forestry, collectively discussed and prioritized. The final set of questions appears on the Home page.

The Workshop was held on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th September in the Plant Sciences Department of the University of Oxford. Accommodation for residents was in St. Hilda's College.


Definitions of 'forestry', 'woodland' and 'forest'


We want to define 'forestry' broadly so that a wide range of views - from small woodland owners to those involved in marketing home-grown timbers - are captured. A working definition which we will use throughout the project is one adopted recently by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations:

Forestry is broadly defined to include livelihoods, social aspects, environmental services, forestry policies and institutions, and economic considerations. In addition to traditional aspects of forest management, production, health and protection, forestry considers the broad landscape of trees outside forests, including urban forestry and agro-forestry. Forestry includes the management of wildlife and protected areas. Forestry considers the impacts of other sectors on the forest, as well as the impact of the forest on other sectors.


Woodland is defined by Forestry Commission Scotland as

land under a stand of trees with, or the potential to achieve, tree canopy cover of 20% or more. (The minimum size of woodland FCS can grant-aid is 0.25 hectare. The woodland must also have a minimum width of 15 metres.)


We use the term forest broadly and make no artificial distinction between natural and planted forest, nor between small and large areas.

Forest is an ecosystem characterized by a more or less dense and extensive tree cover. It often consists of stands varying in characteristics such as species composition, structure, age class, and associated processes, and commonly including meadows, stream, fish and wildlife. Forests include special kinds, such as industrial forests, private forests, plantations, protection forests and urban forests. (John Helms’ Dictionary of Forestry)