Future Trees Trust: Our History

Founded in 1991 at the Department of Plant Sciences of the University of Oxford, the British and Irish Hardwoods Trust (BIHIP) became a voluntary collaboration of many of Britain and Ireland's foremost tree scientists and practitioners from all sectors of forestry.

Now, after 20 years branded as Future Trees Trust we have trial sites across Great Britain and Ireland where we test offspring (either seeds or cuttings) from carefully selected superior parent trees of seven species. Our researchers monitor their development over many years. By careful selection and rigorous testing, they ensure that only the best progeny or cuttings produce seeds that we know will grow into excellent broadleaved trees that will contain sufficient diversity to be resilient to climate change.

But it's not just about the science. We also lobby the British and Irish forestry industries and hope to create a fundamental culture change within that sector towards planting of improved trees. Already, our lobbying has resulted in the Forestry Commission in England recognising the need to change their seed-sourcing regulations to increase genetic variation, based on the work that our scientists performed.

Our members generally volunteer their time to support our work free of charge. Our overheads are minimal but our research costs money. The document Costs of establishing seed orchards will provide you with an idea of the costs of creating one of around 30 test orchards we need to create to complete our work.

What we do

Future Trees Trust is a charity dedicated to the improvement of broadleaved trees.

Our vision is to realise the economic, social and environmental benefits of broadleaved woodland by ensuring that, by 2050, anyone planting broadleaved trees in Great Britain or Ireland primarily to produce timber can do so using the highest standard of improved material.

We will undertake research to develop and conserve the genetic material needed to achieve our vision and will be a source of advice to all stakeholders in broadleaved woodlands.

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+44 (0)1453 884264
+44 (0)7896 834518

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3 Queens Square
Chalford Hill
United Kingdom