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This research is a case study focussing on the changes in urban woodland management in the city of Sheffield during the period since the late nineteenth century. There has been considerable change in the extent and management of forests in Britain since that time.

As one of the greenest and most wooded cities in Europe, Sheffield boasts abundant woodland resources, with more than 180 public woodlands and 80 ancient woodlands, predominantly situated in urban areas. Throughout the twentieth century, traditional coppice management that had lasted for centuries ceased. Woodlands were transformed into forest plantations, eventually becoming amenity woods owned by local authorities.  However, public woodlands in Sheffield suffered decline for nearly a century when most of them were neglected and unmanaged until a paradigm shift in the 1980s. This research takes a long-term perspective, aiming to gain an understanding of historic management and future trends which is important for sustainable landscape management.

Yuhan Meng is a third year PhD candidate in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield. Her dissertation, titled ‘The Future of Sheffield’s Urban Woodland? Perceptions of Urban Woodland Management Change in Sheffield’ is supervised by Dr Nicola Dempsey and Andrew Clayden.

All welcome- this seminar is free to attend but booking is required.