How ancient Devon woodland will help citizen scientists predict the effects of climate change
An intricate study of tree growth in ancient woodland in North Devon and Plymouth is expected to provide a template for volunteer scientists around the UK to help monitor the effects of climate change.
Scientist Alison Smith has begun a four year research programme at Clinton Devon Estates’ Hunshaw Woods near Torrington which, when complete, will be packaged into a simple measurement toolkit that can be used by an army of “citizen scientists” in their local woodlands to predict the impacts of climate change on forests, and ultimately protect species that might be endangered by it.
Alison’s research involves measuring leaves, buds, ground flora, saplings and canopy cover and mapping her findings against changes in the weather which are recorded by weather stations tracking the effects of hot temperatures, wet weather, severe cold and droughts. She hopes that, with the right research, techniques can be developed that enable this work to be carried out by volunteer groups from local communities and schools across the UK.
How ancient Devon woodland will help citizen scientists predict the effects of climate change - Clinton Devon Estates