This chapter outlines the history and past management of trees within the wood pasture systems of South East England. Changes over time are discussed, and the challenges that the trees now face are outlined along with some potential solutions. Wood pasture was a common and traditional form of management in South East England although the conservation significance of it has only recently been realised. The types of wood pasture included wooded commons, Forests and parks, all of which have quite precise historical meanings. Many trees in wood pastures were managed as pollards, probably mainly for fuel wood, but some were open-grown. The number of trees has declined, and the area of wood pasture has diminished due to development pressure and agricultural intensification. Despite this, the area remains important in a European context for the number of old trees. In addition, lack of traditional management is a threat to tree and wood pasture survival. Restoration of grazing using traditional livestock is an important first step. New skills are required to work on trees that have been left many years out of a regular pollarding cycle, and new uses for the products will be important to help these trees become relevant again.
Part of the book: Silvicultures