UK rainforest


British experts have issued a stark warning that the United Kingdom could witness silent, lifeless forests within a generation due to the looming threat of “ecosystem collapse.”

The panel of 42 experts emphasised the potential for trees to rapidly wither and die within 50 years if immediate action is not taken.

While large-scale forest loss has already occurred in continental Europe and North America due to factors like wind, fire, pests, and disease, the experts believe the UK has the opportunity to avert this catastrophe through timely intervention.

“A collapsed forest would be heart-breaking, devoid of its essential life and all the joy and benefits it gives to humanity,” said Dr Eleanor Tew of Forestry England and Cambridge University.

Dr. Eleanor Tew asserts that there is a window of opportunity to make a difference by enhancing the resilience of forests “so they can continue to thrive for future generations”.

The UK, among the least forested countries in Europe, faces numerous challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, invasive species, and a shortage of skills in the forestry sector.

Proposed solutions include the strategic planting of forests comprising diverse species that benefit wildlife and exhibit resilience to various pressures like floods, droughts, and diseases.

The study, a collaboration between Forestry England and the University of Cambridge, identifies additional concerns in the UK’s forests, including competition for water resources, emerging pests and pathogens, particularly viruses, and the impact of extreme weather on forest management.

The findings were published in the journal “Forestry,” marking the first comprehensive “horizon-scanning” exercise for UK forests.



At Natural World Fund, we are passionate about stopping the decline in our wildlife.

The decline in our wildlife is shocking and frightening. Without much more support, many of the animals we know and love will continue in their decline towards extinction.

When you help to restore a patch of degraded land through rewilding to forests, meadows, or wetlands, you have a massive impact on the biodiversity at a local level. You give animals a home and food that they otherwise would not have had, and it has a positive snowball effect on the food chain.

We are convinced that this is much better for the UK than growing lots of fast-growing coniferous trees, solely to remove carbon, that don’t actually help our animals to thrive.

This is why we stand for restoring nature in the UK through responsible rewilding. For us, it is the right thing to do. Let’s do what’s right for nature!

Donate today at and join in the solution!


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