Changbai Mountain, located in the northeast of China, has abundant natural resources. Long ago, the forest industry was a rather prosperous industry. However, due to forest protection policy, nowadays logging has strict limitations. We were lucky to be there at the end of logging season observing the whole process of logging, classifying and storing.
The town of Baham is located at the Western Province of the Republic of Cameroon. Given that Baham is close to rainforests and up on a mountainous region, the temperature is rather mild. In the region around Baham there are a total of 16 villages. Residential settlements disperse from the center of the town, and one can see lively neighborhood. Peasants and children either stroll or do house chores along the sandy trails that go up and down the hills. Most of the residents still lead a relatively original life and live on farming and trading. Therefore, the use of firewood and wooden construction materials for small residential cabins are easily seen everywhere.
Douala, the largest city in Cameroon, owns the biggest port in the country. It is the commercial capital, majorly handling the export of oil, coca, metal, fruits and timber.
Wood is the most accessible natural resource in Cameroon and is therefore widely used in people’s daily life. We traveled to Youwpe and Miwake, villages around Douala, and collected plenty of precious information about how local people make good use of wood, and make products ranging from artistic sculptures and accessories, to canoes and charcoal. The people also maintain a sustainable way of using wood. For example, charcoal makers in the Miwake region, which is located southwest to Douala, pick only naturally dead trees as their raw material. By doing so, the timber is transformed into another form and becomes another useful product for the people.
Bothwell Park, formerly an industrial waste dumpsite now being regenerated as woodlands, is located at Glasgow. It is a 49ha land owned largely by North Lanarkshire Council (NLC) and managed by Forestry Commission Scotland, at an area that is in one of the most economically-deprived communities in Scotland. Playing a part in the regeneration process, the Forestry Commission has worked with the NLC to restore the land and turn it into a public green space that could serve recreational, educational, and environmental purposes to the people in the vicinity. There will be a wetland, woodlands, and an open space in the park.
The Highland Folk Museum is a living history site with an area of 32 hectares. In 1955, the open-air museum is open to public with portray of domestic and working condition of the old highlanders, showing how they used to build homes, decorate houses, till soils, weave wools and dress. It encapsulates aspects of 200 years of Highland rural life, starting from the early 1700s until the present day.
According to the stone remain of each house base, the carpenters and archaeology professors from University of Glasgow are working together on an experimental project on how the wooden roof would be built and how the interior would be arranged in the past.
The museum interpreted the highland folk history by re-locate and re-create buildings and features, such as schools, farms and shops, plus monthly programs, including various workshops and music events held to provide visitors an engaging experience of the town life.
Built in 1913, Edinburgh Zoo is a zoology park with an area of 82 acre. It lies on the Corstrorphine Hill, which not only provides extensive view of the city but also offers environment features that shape several microclimates. Therefore, Edinburgh Zoo is also characterized by collections of at least 1,200 different tree species and 3,500 plant species.
In order to create a suitable habitat for the animals, a group of trained botanic gardeners collaborate with the zoo keepers to manage the enclosure for the animals. Moreover, since the climate has changed dramatically over the past few years, the gardeners are now facing the challenge to cope with the issue.
Wood pasture, a historical land management system in the Europe, is an open woodland providing shelters for cattle and sheep, as well as the timber products including charcoal and house construction.
Glen Finglas is a glen in the Trossachs, which has been described as the miniature Highlands. Part of the region within the area was the Royal Hunting Forest from the King David and James II onwards. And wood pasture is restored across the estate, creating a vast mosaic of woodland. Glen Finglas was once covered with plenty of different tree species, including alder, birch, oak hazel, rowan and willow, but over the centuries, the wood pasture has been decreased to scattered remnants.
Located in the northeast of Scotland, the Cairngorms National Park is the largest one in the UK, covering an area of 4,528 km2 (1,748 sq mi). The Cairngorms was established in 2003, and inhabited by a population about 70,000 people in the area, where 75% of the land is privately owned by individuals or companies, while 10 to 15% is possessed by NGOs; and the rest is governmental property. The Cairngorms National Park Authority has therefore devoted its efforts to collaborate with the landowners, and encouraged them to plan their lands beyond boundaries. This idea and the economic value of joining the national park have interested the neighboring citizens and led to the park extension in 2009.
Cairngorms owns Britain’s highest and most massive mountain range and also the biggest native forests. Most of the forests and woodlands are well managed not just for timber products, but more importantly, to sustain the biodiversity, habitats, and landscape value.
Dr. Pieter Baas, an expert of wood anatomy and former scientific director of the herbarium, guided us through the wooden specimen collection at the university. The herbarium is one of the world’s largest with over 5.5 million plant specimens collected from around the world over the last decades. The wooden specimens are also in profusion and they go through a series of bug-removing and maintenance processes before being stored. The experts on wood at the institution conduct researches around the world.
Latvia does not have any mountains, but yet is covered by forests for about 60% of land. In Gauja National Park, people can operate their own land and run the business in relation to nature. The Archaeological Museum where the buried houses of 9th -10th Century were revealed represents the life of then, including tools, weapons and daily objects, up to medieval time. While in Latvia, one thing you cannot miss out is that refresh your energy in a traditional Latvian Bath house which usually lies on the imaginary ley line full of spiritual power. Having a land mostly covered with forest urges people to learn to respect the nature, and the Educational programme is committing to this very concept and brings it to the global level.