This year’s RFS Summer Field Meeting will be hosted by The Saltby Estate in Leicestershire.  The site visit will focus on The Bescaby Oaks Diamond Wood, a Jubilee Plantation, and will encompass this year’s key themes of climate change mitigation, species diversification and carbon.

The Saltby Estate is owned by a family with a long tradition of land ownership in the UK, which stretches back to 1575, where their estate in Northamptonshire has been in continuous ownership.

Today the family are heavily involved in the community and are the founding sponsors of an educational charity that educates over 7,000 children in 10 schools.  Several of those schools have been rated by OFSTED as outstanding.

Saltby is farmed on an in-hand basis.  The dairy with over 400 milking cows reared on grass is let out on a farm business tenancy.  Saltby is in various agri- environmental schemes.


The morning will focus on a tour of The Bescaby Oaks Diamond Wood Plantation.  The Diamond Wood has been created with multiple aims whereby carbon sequestration, landscape enhancement, timber production, biodiversity and public enjoyment all play a part in its design and future.

The main body of the new native woodland, which stretches around 11ha from the main estate buildings connecting with the existing Bescaby Oaks, contains over 5,000 selected oak from registered seed stands chosen for their vigour and potential to be timber for the future.  The four bodies of woodland were designed in line with a longer-term landscape plan for the estate to create a large parkland environment, framing what are currently arable fields.

Throughout all the new woodland compartments, standard tree species have been planted to create points of interest and add to the aesthetic value and biodiversity of the woodland.

We shall continue our walk to take in the adjacent mature woodland of Bescaby Oaks, returning via the footpath network to Bescaby Park, learning more about the farming enterprise on the return route.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided on our return to Bescaby Park.

In a slight break with tradition, the afternoon will comprise a series of presentations, with time allocated for questions and debate.  We have three highly respected figures from the Forestry Commission confirmed as our speakers and these include:

  • Mark Broadmeadow – climate change adaptation and mitigation;
  • John Weir – species diversification and resilience; and
  • Dr Vicky West – the UK Carbon Code.

This highly topical day strikes at the heart of what is vitally important for the future of British woodlands so please do join us.

Whilst these days are essential for continued professional development as foresters and woodland owners, please do take the opportunity to extend the invitation to all of those with an interest trees, woodlands and timber and indeed the wider environment.  It is incumbent on all of us to raise awareness of the key role which trees and woodlands play in climate change mitigation so please do spread the word as this promises to be a highly informative and thought-provoking day.

A location plan can be downloaded here.


  • 10:00  Meet at Bescaby Park for registration.
  • 10:30  On foot through The Bescaby Oaks Diamond Wood, continuing into the adjacent mature woodland via footpaths and return to Bescaby Park.
  • 12:45 Lunch and refreshments provided under marquee at Bescaby Park.
  • 14:00  Presentations by guest speakers with questions and discussion.
  • 16:00  Close and depart.

For disease control, please bring clean sturdy footwear, and wear suitable outdoor clothing – the cap for the day will be £3 for members and £5 for each guest.  Your footwear will be sprayed at both the start and finish of the meeting with a disinfectant.

If you would like to attend please RSVP to [email protected] / 01536 408840.

We look forward to seeing you there.


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