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Meet the woman 'future-proofing' Thetford Forest

PUBLISHED: 08:25 11 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:03 11 April 2019

Cambridge University's Eleanor Tew is helping the Forestry Commission plan for the next 100 years of Thetford Forest's life. PHOTO: Gill Kerby

Cambridge University's Eleanor Tew is helping the Forestry Commission plan for the next 100 years of Thetford Forest's life. PHOTO: Gill Kerby

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A Cambridge University PhD student is helping plan the future of Thetford Forest.

Eleanor Tew is helping the Forestry Commission plan for the next 100 years of Thetford Forest's life. PHOTO: Gill KerbyEleanor Tew is helping the Forestry Commission plan for the next 100 years of Thetford Forest's life. PHOTO: Gill Kerby

Eleanor Tew works at the university’s department of zoology, and has been examining more than 40 management options in the Forest with the Forestry Commission, which sponsors her research alongside the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

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Because trees take so long to grow, these strategies need to be “future-proofed” for up to 100 years so that trees planted now will continue to thrive.

This process can be made more challenging by climate change.

Ms Tew said: “The warming climate brings more pests and more diseases, which can slow or stop growth, or kill trees entirely. Planting the wrong species for the climate at the end of the century risks considerable loss in value when that tree is harvested.”

She aims to work full time at the Forestry Commission for three months after her PhD.

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