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We have many unique places for you to explore and enjoy, from woodlands and wetlands to ancient monuments.

Forestry Research

Introducing a National Research Woodland

Ash in Paradise Wood

Paradise Wood is a national research woodland dedicated to the improvement of hardwood tree species for increased timber productivity. The first trees were planted in 1993 on former arable land, known in medieval times as ‘Paradise Field’. Since then, around 60,000 trees have been planted. It is located between the Earth Trust Centre and the village of Long Wittenham.

The Earth Trust, in collaboration with other organisations, has established a number of forestry trials in Paradise Wood, which have evolved to become the largest collection of hardwood forestry trials in Britain. 

There are also a number of non-research plantings, including shelter belts and conservation areas that include a wide variety of tree and shrub species. These enhance the local landscape and provide benefits to wildlife. 

Hardwood trees

click to enlarge imageOur research at Paradise Wood is primarily focused on the production of high quality hardwood timber. There are many hardwood tree species grown in Britain, but we have chosen five species to include in our tree breeding program:  

These species were selected because of their commercial importance and their ability to grow well in mixtures and on a variety of sites. We also undertake additional research into the environmental and economic aspects of commercial broadleaved forestry. 

Find out more about why we need to improve hardwood trees and tree breeding.

Find out more about ash dieback.

Further information about the trials can be found on the map below. Click on the red icon in the top right corner to open Wikimapia in a new window.


PhD research

We regularly welcome students carrying out research. Click on the links below to find out about the latest projects:

  • Evaluating the impact of emergent disease on microbial and insect populations in the tree ecosystem. Shyamali Roy.
    Download a PDF summary
  • How do insect species living on the same tree affect one another? The impact of early-season moth caterpillars on other oak-associated insect species. Kristiina Visakorpi.
    Download a PDF summary