Planting a Future Forest

wood-woodworking-trees Growing up I always loved nature and wild life because it always seemed to bring such refreshing change to my town-life upbringing. It was never exclusive and seemed always to be somehow an all-embracing escape into something good. I would sit and watch wildlife, pursue birdlife for hours on end through a pair of binoculars and though I was raised in town, I always felt quite at home in mixed woodlands whether alone or with my family. rokesmith-2017-calendar-june

Of course I have learned that we all need trees but, though surprising, not all woodworkers link their work to the actual growing tree. More often they may never have had an opportunity to link directly to the trees their work relies on in that they buy boards from the suppliers and never see trees through any direct relationship.

The thing is, most trees take a very long time to grow so it takes a special kind of care to reach forward into the future to take our precious time to plant trees. As a woodworker I have had both the benefit and joy in the harvest from trees that began to grow so very long ago. I know that many of you feel the same so I include you when I say “we” want to be involved in planting trees for the future.

Recently I spent some time talking to my friend Gabriel Hemery of the Sylva Foundation about their progress reaching out for a Future Forest. Phil recorded it and here is the video:

As I mention In the video, we want to contribute to this and have our own Woodworking Masterclasses portion of the Future Forest here in Long Wittenham. We are inviting those who support our work to contribute too and we will match those contributions from the profits of a calendar we have just released. So, you can contribute in any of the following ways: rokesmith-2017-calendar-style-7

This is indeed an important work and we will be updating you as we see progress in this project.

The calendar is really great by the way. The photography, design and printing came out really nice and I think you will enjoy it!


  1. I saw this when the Youtube video went up a few days ago and sponsored a plot in memory of my father who passed away recently. It’s a great project. Thanks for all that you do Paul!

  2. Calander would be great! I sent a note regarding the maximum of one per order to the contact link at Rokesmith. I’d be in for three if I can order together (home, work, and a gift).

  3. You’re losing sales Paul.
    The whole rokesmith site is lacking large chunks when viewed with Chrome with ad blockers.
    I’ve taken a screen capture but can’t find a contact address for rokesmith.

  4. Paul, perhaps you could encourage the practice of formative pruning in newly planted woodlands. When stocked too thinly, many broadleaf trees produce many side branches which can have a detrimental effect on timber quality at maturity due to large knots. By removing the side branches when the trees are young, we can produce higher quality timber, hopefully achieving a higher timber price which will promote the long term management of woodlands. Well managed woodlands have multiple benefits for both local communities and wildlife, they are even better if they are self funding through timber sales.

    The UK can’t rely on knot free timber from old growth forests as their aren’t any old growth forests left. A pair of secateurs, a pruning saw and a bit of time are all we need to improve timber quality.

    Forestry and woodwork seemed like a good combination to me

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