Latest news

September FOREXT Friday: FEM4FOREST, Forests in Women’s Hands

©jurgal -

FOREXT Friday: May 2021 edition

In our May FOREXT Friday we heard the presentations of Gail Atkinson (Forest Research, UK) on the topic of Demonstrating climate change adaptation in woodland in South East England and of Tom Houlihan (Teagasc) on the development of an Irish Forest Carbon Tool.

One of the ways in which Forest Research is educating the community about how we can adjust the woodland management practices to better prepare our woodlands for the changing climate is the Alice Holt Forest climate change adaptation trail, which opened in 2019. The trail shows a range of climate change adaptation measures and options. Read more about the trail.

The Forest Carbon Tool takes user-defined descriptive information on the forest and combines it with existing growth models to estimate potential carbon storage over the lifetime of the forest.

Here are the links shared during the webinar:
Climate Change Adaption Demonstrator
Forest Research Climate Change Factsheets
Forest Carbon Tool

Watch the recording of the webinar on Youtube:

Photo: ©jurgal / AdobeStock

©Ilja -

April FOREX Friday focused on Estonian forestry

The April FOREXT Friday focused on Estonian forestry. Allar Luik from Erametsakeskus gave an overview of Estonian forestry and then talked about the important role which  forest owners associations have in managing Estonian forests. Out of the the about 100 000 forest owners, approx. 15 000 are members in the forest owners associations. The benefits they get include one-on-one meetings with advisory specialists, subsidies for reforestation and forest inventories. Watch the recording here:

Note that towards the end of the webinar, we had a technical issue as our speaker lost his internet connection, so the recording shows a short pause.

Photo: ©Ilja /

March FOREXT Friday focused on Finland

In the March edition of FOREXT Friday, we heard from two experts at the Finnish Forest Centre.

The forests in Finland are not only economically important but also their recreational use is exceptionally wide. During the corona crisis, the Finns have deepened their relationship with nature and forests in particular.

As more than 600,000 Finns are forest owners, that is one out of ten Finns, the role of the Finnish Forest Centre in supporting them and other actors in the field means they need to develop their services all the time. In the webinar, Anna Rakemaa introduced the work FFC is doing in digital monitoring of forest use and Jyrki Haataja talked about Finland’s forest strategies, both national and regional. The webinar was facilited by Anssi Niskanen.

Watch the recording here:

Download Anna Rakemaa’s presentation

Download Jyrki Haataja’s presentation

Photo: Wille Heikkinen, Adobe Stock

February FOREXT Friday: National Carbon Codes in France, the UK and Spain

In February 2021, the FOREXT Friday looked the national carbon codes in France, the United Kingdom and Spain. The webinar was facilitated by Benjamin Chapelet (CNPF) with a short presentation of the network by Mark Prior, Forestry Commission. Our speakers were: Olivier Gleizes (CNPF) on the “Label Bas-Carbone”, the French national framework for voluntary carbon mitigation in forest with private funds; Pat Snowdon (Scottish Forestry) on “Woodland Carbon Code”, the UK framework for voluntary carbon mitigation in forest and Marta Hernández de la Cruz (Spanish Office for Climate Change) on “Registro de la Huella de Carbono”, the Spanish framework for voluntary carbon mitigation in forest.

Watch the video here:

January FOREXT Friday: Adapting extension activities in the context of COVID-19

In our first FOREXT Friday, we were happy to welcome Steven Meyen from Teagasc who talked about adapting extension activities in the context of COVID-19. We also heard from Ian Baker from SmallWoods, who shared about the changes their work faced as the pandemic hit. Nuala Ní Fhlatharta from Teagasc and Mark Prior from Forestry Commission facilitated the discussion. The full recording of the webinar is available here.

Nuala Ní Fhlatharta pointed out that COVID-19 has made extension services reconsider how they operate and how they can most effectively deliver their services. Many of the forest and land owners depend on accessing a range of support services, both on a one-to-one basis and in groups, to progress their plans for their forests and manage them appropriately. While the digital leap has brought innovation and new forms of services, we still need to be conscious that the profile of some of the clients may mean that they have limited capacity to upskill in relation to digital communications and we must avoid alienating them.

Steven Meyen and Ian Baker both emphasised that even with the current limitations, we can reach out and connect with a multitude of digital tools. Effective communication, along with developing new ideas, requires resources, skills and the flexibility to be able to respond rapidly to the changing demands of the clients as well as the tools.

For Teagasc and SmallWoods, the pandemic has increased the demand for their newsletters and visits on social media channels as well as on their websites. While webinars and online meetings have to an extent substituted in-person seminars, one-to-one consultations and site visits, not all services translate into online content. For example, many of the SmallWoods courses deal with crafts, which require tools that the participants would not have access to in their homes.

Despite being able to successfully take the digital leap, Meyen and Baker believe that the online tools will not entirely replace the live site visits or the in-person peer-to-peer learning, which are crucial part of the work extension services do.

The full recording of the webinar is available on Youtube:

Note the video has been timestamped so in case you are interested in a particular section, be sure to check the description field on YouTube.

Download Steven Meyen’s presentation.

More info about Teagasc Forestry Development Department or on Twitter @teagascforestry

Download Ian Baker’s presentation.

More info about SmallWoods: or on Twitter @lovesmallwoods

FOREXT Fridays

Photo: ©magele-picture –

One of the member benefits are FOREXT Fridays, a series of webinars where our members share their experiences and learn from each other. If you work with one of our member organisations and would like to participate, email Minna Korhonen at

29 January 2021 at 1 pm CET

On our first FOREXT Friday, we are happy to welcome  Steven Meyen from Teagasc, who will be talking about adapting extension activities in the context of COVID 19. We will also hear from Ian Baker, who works with Nuala Ní Fhlatharta from Teagasc and Mark Prior from Forestry Commission are facilitating the discussion.

26 February 2021 at 1 pm CET

In February, we will focus on voluntary carbon schemes.

Discussion facilitated by Benjamin Chapelet from National Forest Ownership Centre (CNPF), France.

Olivier Gleizes, CNPF,  presents Label bas-carbone, the French national framework for voluntary carbon mitigation in forest with private funds.

2020 Annual Business Meeting planned new activities for FOREXT

The FOREXT network held its Annual Business Meeting on 18 November. Mark Prior, the Chair of the network’s Secretariat, noted that that due to this exceptional year not many of the planned activities were carried out within the network. However, as all members are now more prepared to work using virtual platforms, the network will start to work towards new activities and joint learning.

In the meeting ideas such as webinar series were discussed, and more information will be shared as soon as plans are finalised. One of the wishes of the meeting participants was to be able to involve more of their home organisations staff in the FOREXT activities.

Many thanks to all our participants for their active inputs!

Meet our Chair, Mark Prior

We talked to our FOREXT network Secretariat Chair, Mark Prior.

And what better way to start off the conversation than asking about his favorite tree:

“Not very European, but probably the Baobab (Adansonia digitata) tree. We had one in our garden as a teenager growing up in Tanzania, it was apparently one of the largest in East Africa and it fascinated me as to how much biodiversity could inhabit one amazing tree!”

“The greater the network of organisations interested in forestry extension and engagement, the greater the benefit to all members in reaching across Europe to owners and managers, enabling them to maximise the benefits of their forests for society.”

“The FOREXT network brings together organisations from across Europe that understand the importance of working with and engaging woodland owners to enable our forests to be safeguarded and managed sustainably.  This is more important than ever with the climate and biodiversity challenges facing us all.  Europe’s trees, woodlands and forests play an immensely important role in our livelihoods and wellbeing, so it essential that we come together to share best practice and knowledge and the FOREXT network provides an excellent opportunity to put that into practice. “

“My background is in forestry having spent 35 years working in the public sector in all areas of forestry in the UK.  I am currently Forestry Commission Area Director for the South West of England, leading a team of forestry experts providing advice and working to encourage the protection, improvement and expansion of woodlands owned by the private and third sectors.  I am based near Exeter in Devon, UK.”

Annual Meeting on 18-19 November 2020

The FOREXT Network will hold its Annual Meeting on 18-19 November 2020. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the meeting will be held online.

Preliminary Agenda

Wednesday 18 November 2020 note all times are in CET

10.30 – 12.30              Secretariat meeting (for secretariat members only)

12.30 – 13.30              Lunch break

13.30 – 16.00              Business Meeting (Mark Prior, Nataša Lovrić)

  • Main conclusions points from the secretariat meeting
  • Revising this year’s activities and planning the next year activitie
  • Budget revision and planning
  • Planning the next annual meeting, etc.
  • Further communications needs
  • New members
  • AOB

Thursday 19 November 2020

10.30  – 12.30             Introductions and welcome by Secretariat chair Mark Prior & network supporter Nataša Lovrić

Time for Presentations by FOREXT members and subsequent discussions (various FOREXT network member representatives)

12.30  – 13.30             Lunch break

13.30  – 16.00             Training session: Project proposal preparation & (subsequent discussion and questions) (Nataša Lovrić)

16.15                           Meeting concludes