Dr KJ Kirby
I have been a woodland ecologist with the government conservation service, the Nature Conservancy Council (1979-1991) and successor bodies, English Nature (1991-2006) and Natural England (2006-2012).
Recent Activity (January to April 2013).
The winter is a time for reflection and consolidation; an excuse not to go out in the freezing cold.
A conference on ecological history provided an opportunity to compare and contrast how the general trends in the development of the English landscape were reflected in the specific example of Wytham Woods: from evidence of forest clearance and shifts in major tree species composition; through the medieval period of coppice and wood-pasture management; through to more recent changes due to deer, plantation forestry and minimum intervention approaches.
Examples of coniferous afforestation of open ground in Wytham and in the Lake District.
Understanding the profound influence of history is essential in deciding on conservation priorities for the future. The structure and composition of a natural landscape are of interest in their own right, but are not necessarily that relevant to current and future nature conservation in the highly-modified cultural landscapes that characterise much of north-west Europe. Instead we can and must choose what we want to conserve and how that is to be done. This may reflect the past, but may also mean choosing to manage land in totally new ways because we believe this will be better for wildlife.
Recent history also featured in consideration of forest conservation since 1949; specifically the part played bythe Chief Scientist Team lead by Derek Ratcliffe of the Nature Conservancy Council (NCC). This was a difficult period during which large areas of valuable semi-natural woodland (as well as other habitats) were lost as forestry and agriculture were intensified following the Second World War. At times and places the arguments were very bitter indeed, but none the less, from them eventually emerged much consensus on woodland creation and management between the conservation and forestry sectors. In Wales the Forestry Commission and Countryside Council for Wales (NCC’s successor) have now been merged into one body; discussion on the future of FC and Natural England is on-going. Whatever institutional landscape emerges, however, there will still be a need for the hard ecological understanding of land-use change shown by Derek and his colleagues.
Kirby, K J (2012) A view from the past to the future. In Historical environmental variations in conservation and natural resource management, edited by J A Wiens, G D Hayward, H D Safford, C M Giffen, Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, pp281-288.
Kirby, K.J. & Baker, A. (2013) The dynamics of pre-Neolithic landscapes and their relevance to modern conservation. In Trees, forested landscapes and grazing animals, edited by I.D. Rotherham, Earthscan, Routledge, Abingdon, pp87-98.
Kirby K J (in press) Battling forestry and building consensus: woodland conservation post-1949. In: Nature’s Conscience – The Life and Legacy of Derek Ratcliffe (eds D.B.A. Thompson, H.H. Birks & H.J.B. Birks).
May - Dec 2012
Over the summer 70 Dawkins plots were recorded in Wytham to complete the fourth
set of observations since they were established in 1974. One of the more obvious
changes in the appearance of the Woods over the last ten years has been the resurgence
of regeneration, particularly ash saplings. More generally ash has been gaining ground
in the Woods and is now the most abundant tree in the Woods.
It was therefore very worrying to learn that ash dieback has become established
in the wild in Britain, which led to the production of an initial assessment of the
conservation implications, set out in the pdf document
Potential Conservation Implications of Ash Dieback.
There will be major consequences for our woodland if it follows the same course as
on the Continent. For example ashwoods are some of the richest sites for woodland flowers;
old ash trees in hedges are important for lichens on their bark and deadwood beetles in
their rotting hearts.
Ways of managing woods with the disease need to be developed, now that it appears
unlikely it can be contained. However this should be a measured response - there is no
need for panic felling of mature ash.
Jan - Apr 2012
Impact of nitrogen on the woodland flora
There has been increased deposition of nitrogen from the atmosphere over recent
decades and in some habitats this is having clear effects on the vegetation. In
general more 'competitive', often generalist, species tend to increase and the more
specialist plants for the habitat decline. So for example increasing nitrogen levels
are thought to encourage species such as goosegrass Galium aparine and
cow parsley Anthriscus sylvestris over traditional woodland flowers such
as bluebells Hyacinthoides non-scripta and primroses Primula vulgaris
Kris Verheyen from Ghent University therefore brought together long-term survey
data, including from the vegetation plots at Wytham Woods, to try to see if there
was a general trend in increasing eutrophication in semi-natural woodland. Although
no directional change in species richness occurred, there was considerable floristic
turnover in the understorey plant community and species. There was an overall composition
shift towards more shade tolerant and nutrient demanding species. However, atmospheric
nitrogen deposition was not important in explaining the observed eutrophication
signal. This signal seemed mainly related to a shift towards a denser canopy cover
and a changed canopy species composition with a higher share of species with more
easily decomposed litter.
The study demonstrates that we should be cautious when drawing conclusions about
the impact of atmospheric nitrogen deposition based on the interpretation of plant
community shifts in single sites or regions due to other, concurrent ecological
changes. However although the effects of chronically increased nitrogen deposition
on the forest plant communities are apparently obscured by the effects of canopy
changes, the accumulated nitrogen might still have a significant impact. More research
is needed to assess whether this nutrient time bomb will indeed explode when canopies
open up again.
Verheyen, K., Baeten, L., De Frenne, P., Bernhard-Romermann, M, Brunet, J., Cornelis,
J., Decoq, G., Dierschke, H, Eriksson, O., Hedl, R., Heinken, T., Hermy, M., Hommel,
P., Kirby, K.J., Naaf, T., Peterken, G.F., Petrik, P., Pfadenhauer, J., Van Calster,
H., Walther, G-R., Wulf, M. & Verstraeten, G. (2012). Driving factors behind the
eutrophication signal in understorey plant communities of deciduous temperate forests.
Journal of Ecology 100, 352-365.
Fast effects, slow recovery from deer browsing.
Deer at Wytham Woods had a major impact on the vegetation and structure of the woods
between about 1980 and 1990, but thereafter increasing efforts were made to reduce
their impact via management of the numbers. However even after the populations had
been much reduced the vegetation did not seem much different – there was a lag in
the recovery, although one of the key species, bramble, is now spreading back, as
here in a Marley Wood glade.
It turns out this is quite a common phenomenon. Worldwide deer have become widespread
throughout temperate regions over the last century. While culling is frequently
used to reduce the ecological impacts of deer, the recovery of herbivore-disturbed
vegetation is often a protracted process on the order of decades. Vegetation changes
following deer population reduction may be slow because of the: (i) slow growth
rate of plants relative to the amount of biomass consumed by herbivores; (ii) depletion
of seed sources of deer-preferred plants; (iii) formation of alternate vegetation
types under high deer browsing; (iv) preferential browsing of forage even under
low deer densities; (v) variation in browse damage of deer-preferred species with
plant community composition (e.g. associational resistance or susceptibility); (vi)
suppression of trophic cascades; and (vii) changes in abiotic conditions associated
with other ecological processes. Managers can accelerate recovery through different
active management strategies that directly address the reasons behind slow recovery.
However, first there needs to be acceptance of the need to manage the deer population,
which involves wider societal acceptance. Recovery may hinge as much on bridging
the communication gap between forest managers and wider society as on improving
our ecological understanding of deer impacts and ecosystem recovery.
Tanentzap, A., Kirby, K.J. & Goldberg, E.A. 2012 Slow responses of ecosystems to
reductions in wild ungulates and strategies for achieving recovery. Forest Ecology
and Management 264, 159-166
April – December 2011
How much is a wood worth?
Woods and forests produce timber but they provide us with much more than just that.
Some things may be deemed beyond price, a rare orchid, a breath-taking view, but
even if we all agree that is the case (and some will not) there will be costs attached
to maintaining the species or the view.
Resources are limited and individuals and governments need some indications - however
vague - of the values that might be attached to the different goods and services
that trees and woods provide. That is what the National Ecosystem Assessment has
attempted to do.
Foresters should not find it a surprise as they have been struggling with how to
account for non-market benefits since at least the the 1970s. This latest attempt
is still inevitably incomplete, but provides a framework from which future payments
for ecosystem services might be developed.
Quine, C.P., Cahalan, C., Hester, A., Humphrey, J., Kirby, K.J., & Moffat, A.
(2011). National Ecosystem Assessment – Woodlands. http://uknea.unep-wcmc.org/Resources/tabid/82/Default.aspx
More trees without the trouble
There is momentum building up around increasing the woodland creation rate up from
its current 2,500 ha a year in England to something three to four tines that rate.
Under the Biodiversity Action Plan a woodland expansion rate of about 5,000 ha a
year is envisaged to buffer and expand around ancient woods, to create stepping
stones and woodland corridors that might help woodland species spread through the
landscape. The Woodland Trust has proposed that native woodland cover should be
From a different angle the Read report has called for a substantial increase in
woodland creation to help with climate change mitigation and adaptatioin. A figure
of 10,000 ha/yr is seen as an aspiration.
Such increases, however desirable in theory, will almost certainly involve at least
local landscape transformations. There is the potential for damage to be done to
historic features, treasured landscapes, valuable open habitats, as happened in
the past. However with goodwill on all sides it should be possible to raise our
tree and woodlamd cover without raising the storm of protest that greeted afforestation
in the 1970s and1980s.
Kirby, K.J., Reid, C.M. & Green, R. 2011 More trees without the
trouble. Quarterly Journal of Forestry, 105, 295-301.
The Ancient Woodland Inventory – thirty years on.
Ancient woods are those that are believed to have been continuously wooded since
at least 1600 AD In 1981 a project started to try to list ancient woods on a county-by-county
basis across Britain. The result was the ‘ancient woodland inventory’
which has since become a standard reference document in forestry, planning and conservation
The Inventory is now maintained and operated as three separate inventories for England,
Scotland and Wales by the relevant conservation agencies. The current version for
England is available from Natural England as part of the MAGIC data-set (www.naturalengland.org.uk ).
Goldberg, E.A., Peterken, G.F. & Kirby, K.J. 2011. Origin and evolution
of the Ancient Woodland Inventory. British Wildlife, 23, 90-96.
The National Vegetation Classification - twenty years on.
The NVC project was started in 1975 by the Nature Conservancy Council http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-4259. Nearly 2,800 samples
from woodland across the country were collected (plus many others from other habitats)
and these were clustered into 18 main woodland categories plus 7 types of scrub.
The first volume of the national vegetation classification (NVC) which covered woodland
and scrub was published in 1991. Since then it has become the standard tool for
describing British vegetation. It has its flaws, but has become a valuable tool
for foresters and ecologists over the last 20 years. The notes in the accompanying
more detail of its use.
Woodland variation and the use of the National Vegetation Classification woodland
section. Unpublished notes. K J Kirby
Progress on the condition of woodland Sites of Special Scientific Interest
Kirby, K.J., Jefferson, R., Larwood, J., Russell, D., Le Bas, B. & Wright, R.
(2010) What has the SSSI improvement programme achieved for nature conservation
in England? British Wildlife, 22, 16-25
Sites of Special Scientific Interest form the backbone of nature conservation protection
in England. About 11% of all woodland, about 25% of the most important category
(ancient semi-natural woods) are included within the series. However it had long
been recognised that many of these sites were not in good condition: they were too
shady, over-grazed, affected by pollution, or threatened by non-native invasive
Consequently Natural England (formerly English Nature) has been working with major
land-owners for some years to put in place the management or other measures that
should improve the state of these woods (and also of other habitats within the SSSI
series). Around Christmas the target was reached of 95% of SSSIs either in favourable
condition or recovering (that is the appropriate actions to bring the sites into
favourable condition were in place). The challenge for the next decade will be ensuring
that recovery does continue and that more sites reach favourable condition.
More information on SSSIs and Condition Assessment:
Kirby, K J, Latham, J., Holl, K., Bryce, J., Corbett, P. & Watson, R. (2002).
Objective setting and condition monitoring within woodland sites of special scientific
interest. English Nature (Research Report 472). http://naturalengland.etraderstores.com/NaturalEnglandShop/R472
Natural England 2008. State of the Natural Environment. Natural England.
Williams, J. 2006. Common Standards Monitoring for Designated Sites: First Six Year
Report. Joint Nature Conservation Committee. http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-3520
Do the England Biodiversity Strategy Climate Change Adaptation principles work for
woodland ground flora?
Poster presentation by K J Kirby & E A Goldberg to British Ecological Society/Natural
England conference, January 2011.
Climate change adaptation principles have been published as part of the England
Biodiversity Strategy. We explored what these principles might mean using woodland
ground flora as a test group of species. The ground flora forms a significant part
of the variation in the botanical composition of British woods; and its characteristics
are well-known. About half of the twenty-six principles (in italics below) have
direct links to conservation practice at the site level.
Accept that change is inevitable.
Undertake vulnerability assessments of biodiversity and associated ecosystem goods
Conserve existing biodiversity.
Conserve range and ecological variability of habitats and species.
Maintain existing networks.
Reduce sources of harm not linked to climate.
Create buffer zones around high quality habitats.
The impact of drift of pesticides and fertilizers from adjacent land can be reduced
as here through the creation of a no-spray strip adjacent to the wood-edge.
Take prompt action to control spread of invasive species.
Aid gene flow.
Establish ecological networks through habitat restoration and creation.
Consider role of species translocation and ex-situ conservation.
Monitor actual impacts and research.
Respond to changing conservation priorities.
Smithers, R.J., Cowan, C., Harley, M., Hopkins, J.J., Pontier, H., Watts, O.. 2008.
England Biodiversity Strategy: climate change adaptation principles, Defra,
From natural reserves to cultural landscapes delivering ecosystem services: woodland
conservation in Britain since 1949.
Presentation at British Ecological Society 'Forests and Global Change' conference,
Cambridge, March 2011.
A British state conservation service was first established in 1949. Since then its
priorities have changed from the conservation of individual sites to whole landscapes;
and from a prime focus on conserving 'natural' reserves to a recognition of the
cultural nature of our landscapes and the range of ecosystem services that they
From 1949-1980 the priority was identifying representative woodland sites across
the country as reserves and sites of special scientific interest. However many were
destroyed or badly degraded because the protection available was weak. In the 1980s
site protection legislation was substantially increased (and further strengthened
in 2000) and has been largely effective at limiting further damage. From 1985 onward
policies were introduced that gave more protection to ancient woodland outside the
formally protected sites. The Biodiversity Action Plan (1994) led to more attention
to restoration of damaged sites and creation of new woodland – large-scale action
to improve the permeability of whole landscapes for species movement.
Woodland was the natural cover for much of Britain, but the impact of human activity
on the extent, structure and composition of woodland, from the pre-historic period
onward, has become increasingly appreciated. Woodland conservation is about conserving
'cultural landscapes'. Such sites and landscapes also deliver ecosystem services,
particularly water management, carbon sequestration, erosion control and improve
the quality of life: these are now promoted as justifications for putting resources
into woodland conservation.
Streamside woodland, such as here in the New Forest, plays an important part in
controlling the temperature of the water and can also help in managing the risks
of downstream flooding.
Kirby, K J (2003) Woodland conservation in privately-owned cultural landscapes:
the English experience. Environmental Science and Policy, 6, 253-259.
Quine, C.P., Cahalan, C., Hester, A., Humphrey, J., Kirby, K.J., & Moffat, A. (2011).
National Ecosystem Assessment – Woodlands. In press, Defra. http://uknea.unep-wcmc.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=UIQr0mgTWWU%3D&tabid=82
The woodland ground flora is not as peaceful and unchanging as it looks!
Jefferson, R.J. & Kirby, K.J. (2011) Boggarts, ants and poison: the shady natural
history of Dog’s mercury. British Wildlife 22, 241-245.
Marrs, R.H. Le Duc, M.G., Smart, S.M., Kirby, K.J, Bunce, R.G.H. & Corney, P.M.
2011. Aliens or Natives: who are the ‘Thugs’ in British woods? Kew Bulletin
Bluebell woods in spring are one of the glories of the English countryside, but
down under the trees the ground flora is a surprisingly dynamic world. Repeat surveys
in woods across the country have shown gains and losses of species over time, even
if exactly the same plots are revisited. This may be caused by changes in the shade
cast by the trees and shrubs, the impacts of deer grazing, but there is also competition
within the ground flora – some species such a bramble even being described as 'thugs'
because of the strength of their impact on smaller species.
Long-term studies at Wytham Woods have illustrate some of the above effects. In
1974 a far-sighted forester, Colyear Dawkins, set up 163 permanent plots spread
over the woods. Subsequent recordings (1991, 1999) showed the way that increased
deer browsing shifted the ground flora from bramble to grasses as the dominant species
over large areas. The deer population has now been reduced and the bramble is starting
to come back.
Over the next two years we will be recording the plots again and expect to be able
to quantify further this recovery in the ground flora.
Other work on the ground flora and changes in Wytham in particular:
Kirby, K J 2010. Effect of the shift from coppice to high forest in English Woods
on the woodland flora. In Woodland cultures in time and space, editors
E Saratsi, M Burgi, E Johann, K J Kirby, D Moreno, C Watkins, Embryo Publications,
Kirby, K.J., Smart, S.M., Black, H.I.J., Bunce, R.G.H.,Corney,P.M.and Smithers,R.J.
(2005). Long term ecological change in British woodland (1971-2001). Peterborough:
English Nature (Research Report 653).
Savill, P S, Perrins, C, Kirby, K J & Fisher, N (2010) Wytham Woods, Oxford’s Ecological
Laboratory. Oxford University Press, Oxford. (Paperback version due out
in summer 2011)
How do we decide whether large-scale, rewilding type projects are working?
Hughes, F.M.R, Stroh, P.A., Adams, W.M., Kirby, K.J., Mountford, O. & Warrington,
S. In press. Monitoring and evaluating large-scale, ‘open-ended’ habitat creation
projects: a journey rather than a destination. Journal of Nature Conservation.
There is increasing interest in large-scale approaches to conservation in Britain,
including some, where the aim is not to dictate precisely what sorts of habitats
and species should be present, but rather to allow nature to take its course. This
latter approach is often referred to as 're-wilding'. This can present problems
for those who are charged with 'monitoring the success' of the project – if you
have not got a definite end-point how do you decide if your conservation efforts
are worth-while?. Dr Francine Hughes (Anglia Ruskin University) is looking at how
this problem might be addressed through the design of monitoring work at Wicken
Other work relevant to the re-wilding approach to conservation:
Naturalistic grazing and re-wilding in Britain: perspectives from the past and future
Hodder, K.H., Bullock, J.M., Buckland, P.C. & Kirby, K.J. 2005. Large herbivores
in the wildwood and modern naturalistic grazing systems. English Nature (Research
Report 648). http://naturalengland.etraderstores.com/NaturalEnglandShop/R648
Kirby, K J 2004 A model of a natural wooded landscape in Britain driven by large-herbivore
activity. Forestry, 77, 405-420. http://forestry.oxfordjournals.org/content/77/5/405.abstract
Rewilding – creating a bold new wilderness, as above at Oostvaardersplassen in the
Netherlands, or a series of headaches for the regulators?
Mitchell, P L & Kirby, K J (1989) Ecological
effects of forestry practices in long-established woodland and their
implications for nature conservation. Occasional Paper 39, Oxford Forestry
Institute, Oxford. 182pp
Kirby, K J (1992) Woodland and wildlife. Whittet Books, London, 132pp.
Kirby K J & Watkins, C (editors)
(1998) The ecological history of European forests. CABI, Wallingford.
Savill, P S S, Perrins, C, Kirby, K J
& Fisher, N (2010) Wytham Woods, Oxford’s Ecological Laboratory.
Oxford University Press, Oxford.
REFEREED JOURNAL PAPERS
Kirby, K J (1980)
Experiments on the vegetative reproduction in bramble (Rubus vestitus).
Journal of Ecology 68 513-520.
Kirby, K J (1984) A
comparison of two methods for classifying British broadleaved woodland. Field
Studies 6, 103-116.
Kirby, K J (1984)
Scottish birchwoods and their conservation. Transactions of the Botanical
Society of Edinburgh 44, 205-218.
Kirby, K J, Bines, T, Burn, A,
Mackintosh, J, Pitkin, P & Smith, I (1986) Seasonal and observer
differences in vascular plant records from British woodlands. Journal of
Ecology 74, 123-131.
Kirby, K J (1988)
Changes in the ground flora under plantations on ancient woodland sites. Forestry
Webster, S D & Kirby, K J (1988) A
comparison of the structure and composition of an ancient and an adjacent
recent wood in Essex. The London Naturalist 67, 33-45.
Kirby, K J (1990)
Changes in the ground flora of a broadleaved wood within a clear fell, group
fells and a coppiced block. Forestry 63, 241-249.
Mitchell, F J G & Kirby, K J (1990) The
impact of large herbivores on the conservation of semi-natural woods in the
British uplands. Forestry, 63, 333-354.
Kirby, K J, Webster, S D & Antczak,
(1991) Effects of forest management on stand structure and the quantity of
fallen dead wood: some British and Polish examples. Forest ecology and
management, 43, 167-174.
Spencer, J W & Kirby, K J (1992) An
inventory of ancient woodland for England and Wales. Biological
Conservation, 62, 77-93.
Roberts, A J, Russell, C, Walker, G J
& Kirby, K J
(1992) Regional variation in the origin, extent and composition of Scottish
woodland. Botanical Journal of Scotland, 46, 167-189.
Kirby, K J (1993)
Assessing nature conservation values in British woodland - a review of recent
practice. Arboricultural Journal 17, 253-276.
Cooke, R J & Kirby, K J (1994) The
use of a new woodland classification in surveys for nature conservation
purposes in England and Wales. Arboricultural Journal 18, 167-186.
Kirby, K J, Mitchell, F J & Hester,
(1994) A role for large herbivores (deer and domestic stock) in nature
conservation management in British semi-natural woods. Arboricultural
Journal 18, 381-399.
Kirby, K J, Thomas, R C, Key, R S,
McLean, I F G, & Hodgetts, N (1995). Pasture woodland and its
conservation in Britain. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 56
Mitchell, F J G, Hester, A J & Kirby
(1996) Effects of season and intensity of sheep grazing on a British upland
woodland: browsing damage to planted saplings. Botanical Journal of Scotland 48, 199-207.
Hester, A J, Mitchell, F J G &
Kirby K J
(1996) Effects of season and intensity of sheep grazing on tree regeneration
in a British upland woodland. Forest Ecology and Management 88,
Kirby, K J, Thomas, R C & Dawkins, H
Monitoring of changes in tree and shrub layers in Wytham Woods (Oxfordshire),
1974-1991. Forestry 69, 319-334.
Thomas, R C, Kirby, K J & Reid, C M (1997) The
conservation of a fragmented ecosystem within a cultural landscape - the case
of ancient woodland in England. Biological Conservation 82, 243-252.
K J & Woodell S R J (1998) The distribution and growth of bramble (Rubus
fruticosus) in British semi-natural woodland and the implications for
nature conservation. Journal of Practical Ecology and Conservation 2,
K J, Reid, C M, Thomas, R C, & Goldsmith F B (1998)
Preliminary estimates of fallen dead wood and standing dead trees in managed
and unmanaged forests in Britain. Journal of Applied Ecology 35,
A B, Stutter, O, Kirby, K J & Welch, R C (1998) Changes in the
composition of Monks Wood National Nature Reserve (Cambridgeshire, UK)
1964-1996. Arboricultural Journal 22, 229-245.
K S & Kirby, K J
(1998) The potential for developing a normal age-structure in managed ancient
woodland at a local scale in three English counties. Forestry 71,
K J & Thomas, R C
(2000) Changes in the ground flora in Wytham Woods, southern England, from 1974
to 1991 - implications for nature conservation. Journal of Vegetation
Science, 11, 871-880.
K J (2001)
Where have all the flowers gone? Biologist, 48,182-186.
K J (2001)
The impact of deer on the ground flora of British broadleaved woodland. Forestry,
(2003) Woodland conservation in privately-owned cultural landscapes: the
English experience. Environmental Science and Policy, 6,
Kirby, K J (2004) A model
of a natural wooded landscape in Britain driven by large-herbivore activity. Forestry,
P. M., Le Duc, M. G., Smart, S. M., Kirby, K. J., Bunce, R. G. H., Marrs, R.
H., (2004). The effect
of landscape-scale environmental drivers on the vegetation composition of
British woodlands. Biological conservation 120, 491-505
Corney, P.M., Le Duc, M.G., Smart, S.M.,
Kirby, K.J., Bunce,R.G.H. & Marrs, R.H. (2006) Relationships
between the species composition of forest field-layer vegetation and environmental
drivers, assessed using a national scale survey. Journal of Ecology 94,
Morris, R.K.A., Alonso, I, Jefferson, R.J. & Kirby, K.J.
(2006). The creation of compensatory habitat – can it secure sustainable
development? Journal of Nature Conservation 14, 106-16.
Wesche, S., Kirby, K.J. & Ghazoul, J. (2006). Plant
assemblages in British beech woodlands within and beyond native range:
Implications of future climate change for their conservation, Forest Ecology
and Management 236, 385-392.
Goldberg, E.A., Kirby, K.J., Hall, J.E. &
(2007). The ancient
woodland concept as a practical conservation tool in Great Britain. Journal
of Nature Conservation.15, 109-119
Hopkins, J. &
Kirby, K.J. (2007) Ecological change in British broadleaved
woodland since 1947. IBIS 149, 29-40
Corney, P.M., Kirby, K.J., Le Duc,
M.G., Smart, S.M., McAllister, H.A. & Marrs, R.H (2008). Changes in the field-layer of Wytham
Woods - assessment of the impacts of a range of environmental factors
controlling change. Journal of
Vegetation Science 19: 287-298.
B., Kenderes, K., Kirby, K.J., Paviour-Smith, K. & Elbourn, C.A. (2009).
Forty-year changes in the canopy and the understorey in Wytham Woods. Forestry
Petrokofsky, G., Brown, N., Hemery, G,
Woodward S., Wilson, E, Weatherall, A, Stokes, V.,Smithers, R., Sangster, Russell, K., Pullin, A., Price C.,
Morecroft, M., Malins, M., Lawrence,
A., Kirby, K., Godbold, D.,
Charman, E., Boshier, D., Bosbeer, S. &
Arnold, M. In press. A participatory process
for identifying and prioritizing policy-relevant research questions in natural
resource management: a case study from the UK forestry sector. Forestry.
(1986) Forest and woodland evaluation. In Wildlife conservation evaluation,
edited by M B Usher, 201-221,Chapman & Hall, London.
(1986) The management of native woods for wildlife. In Trees and wildlife
in the Scottish uplands, edited by D Jenkins, 160-176, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Huntingdon (ITE Symposium 17)
(1987) Exploitation to integration - the changing relationship between forest
management and nature conservation in Britain. Acta Oecologica/Oecologica
Generalis 8, 219-225.
(1988) Conservation in British woodland - adapting traditional management to
modern needs. In The cultural landscape, past, present and future,
edited by H H Birks, H J B Birks, P E Kaland & D Moe, 79-90, Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge.
T A, Kirby, K J & Savill, P S (1988) Effects of herbicides on
woodland plant communities. Aspects of Applied Biology 16,
K J & Whitbread, A M (1989) Conservation of flora and fauna. In Cumbrian
woodland: the resource and its future, edited by J Adamson, 36-42, Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Huntingdon (ITE Symposium 25).
(1992) Accumulation of dead wood - a missing ingredient in coppicing? In Ecology
and management of coppice woodlands, edited by G P Buckley, pp99-112,
Chapman & Hall, London.
R C & Kirby, K J
(1992) Seventeen years of change in the structure and composition of Wytham
Woods, Oxfordshire. Aspects of Applied Biology 29, 49-55.
K J & Patterson, G (1992) Ecology and management of semi-natural tree
species mixtures. In The ecology of mixed-species stands of trees,
edited by M G R Cannell, D C Malcolm & P A Robertson, pp189-209, Blackwell
(British Ecological Society symposium 11) Oxford.
K J (1993)
The effects of plantation management on wildlife in Great Britain: lessons from
ancient woodland for the development of afforestation sites. In Ecological
effects of afforestation, edited by C Watkins, pp 15-30, CAB International,
(1993) Coppice restoration for nature conservation: how much and where? In Coppice
restoration seminar, edited by R Lightbown & A Searle, pp15-24, Institute of Chartered Foresters (Wessex Group) Edinburgh.
(1993) The value of riverside woods for nature conservation, now and in the
future. In What is the value of river woodlands?, edited by I
Glimmerveen & A Ritchie, pp94-100, Institute of Chartered Foresters, Edinburgh.
K J & Thomas, R C
(1994) Fragmentation patterns of ancient woodland in England. In Fragmentation
in agricultural landscapes edited by J W Dover, pp71-78, IALE (UK) Myercough College, Preston.
R C, Kirby, K J & Cooke, R J (1994) The fate of storm-damaged trees
in Ham Street National Nature Reserve, Kent. In Ecological responses to the
1987 Great Storm in the woods of south-east England, edited by K. J. Kirby
& G P Buckley, pp 65-80, English Nature (English Nature Science 23),
G P, Bolas, M J & Kirby, K J (1994) Some effects of treefall-induced
disturbance on understorey-vegetation development following the storm of 1987.
In Ecological responses to the 1987 Great Storm in the woods of south-east
England, edited by K. J. Kirby & G P Buckley, pp 81-104, English
Nature (English Nature Science 23), Peterborough.
(1994) Storm-related monitoring in a wider context. In Ecological responses
to the 1987 Great Storm in the woods of south-east England, edited by K. J.
Kirby & G P Buckley, pp 163-170, English Nature (English Nature
Science 23), Peterborough.
K J & Rush, A
(1994) Sustainable forestry and nature conservation in Britain: slow steps in the right direction? In Sustainable forestry and its biological
environment, pp65-78 (NAFRO seminar, August 1994), Niigata.
K J (1996)
Conservation of habitats. In Conservation Biology, edited by I F
Spellerberg, Longmans Press, London pp141-153.
C M & Kirby, K J (1996)
Management of the dead wood resource in woods and parks. Aspects of Applied
Biology 44, 437-444.
L, Kirby K J, Marsden, J, Wilkinson, M, Whitmore, M (1996) England : Natural areas and prime biodiversity areas. In: Perspectives on ecological
networks, edited by P Nowicki, G Bennett, D Middleton, S Rientjes, & R
Walters, European Centre for Nature Conservation, Netherlands, pp71-91.
K J, Latham, J & Hampson, A (1997) The case for native trees and
woodland for nature conservation and the merits of non-native species. In Native
and non-native in British forestry, edited by P R Ratcliffe, Institute of Chartered Foresters, 160-170.
(1997) Habitat fragmentation and infrastructure: problems and research. In Habitat
fragmentation and infrastructure, edited by K Canters, Ministry of
Transport pp31-39, Public Works and Water Management, Delft.
K J, Reid, C M, Isaac, D and Thomas, R C (1998) The ancient woodland inventory
in England and its uses. In The ecological history of European forests,
edited by K J Kirby & C Watkins, CABI, Wallingford, pp323-336.
A J, Kirby, K J, Mitchell, F J G, Gill, R M, Latham, J & Armstrong, H (1998)
Ungulates and forest management use in Great Britain and Ireland. In Grazing
as a management tool in European Forest Systems, Forestry Commission
Technical Paper 25, Edinburgh, pp24-35.
(1998) Judging woodland management by tradition or by results? In Woodland in the landscape: past and future perspectives, edited by M
Atherden & R Butler, Leeds University Press, Leeds, pp43-59.
M D, Kirby, K J & Hall, J (1999) United Kingdom. In Research
in forest reserves and Natural Forests in European countries, edited by J
Parviainen, D Little, M.Doyle, A O’Sullivan, M Kettunen & M Korhonen,
European Forest Institute Paper 16, Joensuu, pp267-283.
K J, Buckley, G P & Good, J E G (1999) Maximising the value of new farm
woodland biodiversity at a landscape scale. In Farm woodlands of the future,
edited by P J Burgess, E D R Brierley, J Morris & J Evans, Bios, Oxford,
K J (2000)
Long-term changes in the ground flora of English woodland and some implications
for nature conservation. In Vegetation Science in retrospect and
perspective, edited by P S White, L Mucina & J Leps, Opulus Press,
(2001) Wood-pasture and veteran trees in the United Kingdom: where have they
come from and where are they going? In Tools for preserving woodland
biodiversity, edited by H Read, A S Forfang, R Marciau, H Paltto, L
Andersson & B Tardy, Nacconex Programme, Corporation of London/Avenir
(ISBN 91-631-1331-7) pp50-54.
Kirby, K J (2002) Is
beech best - the place of beech in woodland conservation strategies in England. In Goodbye to beech, farewell to Fagus edited by M G Render, Oxford
Forestry Institute Occasional Paper 54, pp 7-10.
J, Newton, A, Latham, J, Gray, H, Kirby, K J, Poulsom, E, & Quine, C. (eds) 2003. The
restoration of wooded landscapes. Forestry Commission, Edinburgh.
K J (2003)
Ten years of experience of the woodland section of the British National
Vegetation Classification. In National Vegetation Classification –ten
years’ experience of using the woodland section, edited by E A Goldberg,
pp7-14, Joint Nature Conservation Committee Report 335, Peterborough.
(2003). Deer and biodiversity action plan targets. In Goldberg, E.A. Future
for Deer (conference proceedings): 18-23. Peterborough:English Nature
(Research Report 548).
K J (2004) Changes in
the composition of Wytham Woods (southern England), 1974- 2002, in stands of
different origins and past treatment. In Forest Biodiversity: lesson from
history for conservation, edited by O.Honnay, K.Verheyen, B.Bossuyt &
M.Hermy, CABI Publishing, Wallingford pp 193-203.
K J (2004) Balancing
site-based protection versus landscape-scale measures in English woodland. In
R. Smithers (ed) Landscape Ecology of Woodland and Trees, pp263-270,
B J & Kirby K J
(2004) Potential impacts of genetically modified trees on biodiversity of
forestry plantations: a global perspective. In The bioengineered forest,
edited by S H Strauss & H D Bradshaw, RFF Press, Washington, 190-207.
(2004) British woodland – an historical perspective. In Managing woodlands
and their mammals. Edited by C. Quine, R. Shore & R. Trout. Forestry
Commission, Edinburgh. pp3-7.
Watts, K & Kirby, K J (2005). United Kingdom. In European long-term
research for sustainable forestry: country reports, edited by A Marell
& E Leitgeb, Cost Action E25, ECOFOR, Paris, pp272-284. Latham, J, Miller, H, Mountford, E P, Kirby, K J &
Ioras F (2005).
Country report – United Kingdom. In Protected forest areas in Europe –
analysis and harmonisation (PROFOR): reports of the signatory states,
edited by Latham, J, Frank, G, Fahy, O, Kirby, K J, Miller, H, Stiven, R,
Vienna, Federal Research and Training Centre for Forests, pp 399-413.
Kirby, K J (2006) Woodland
management - an historical overview. In Monitoring nature conservation in
cultural habitats, C.Hurford and M.Schneider (main authors), Springer, the
Netherlands, pp 287-292.
Kirby, K J (2006)
Changing perceptions of the role and value of upland woods for nature
conservation: past, present and future. Biodiversity Science and Management
Kirby, K.J. (2007)
Landscape ecology and north-temperate forests. In 25 years of landscape
ecology:scientific principles in practice, edited by R.G.H.Bunce, R.H.G.
Jongman, L.Hojas & S.Weel, IALE, Wageningen, Netherlands, pp25-26..
Kirby K.J. (2007). Woodland. In Developing best practice in survey and reporting, IEEM Conference
Proceedings, Winchester, pp25-29.
Kirby, K J (2007). The
contribution of coppice management to wildlife conservation. In 21st
Century Coppice edited by A. Shepley. Penrith: Coppice Association
North West, pp9-14.
Kirby, K J (2009). Where
would be the best places to put new woodland from a biodiversity perspective:
Oxfordshire as a case study?. In Ecological networks: science and practice,
edited by R. Catchpole, R Smithers, P Baarda, A Eycott, IALE UK, pp184-191.
Kirby, K J, Quine, C P & Brown, N D
2009. The adaptation of UK forests and woodlands to climate change. In Combating
climate change: a role for UK forests, editors D J Read, P H Freer-Smith, J
I L Morison, N Hanley, C C West & P Snowdon, pp164-179. The Stationery
Kirby, K J 2007. Effect
of the shift from coppice to high forest in English Woods on the woodland
flora. In Woodland cultures in time and space, editors E Saratsi, M
Burgi, E Johann, K J Kirby, D Moreno, C Watkins, Embryo Publications, Athens,
R.H. Le Duc, M.G., Smart, S.M., Kirby, K.J, Bunce, R.G.H. & Corney, P.M.
2010. Aliens or Natives: who are the ‘Thugs’ in British woods? Kew Bulletin
K J, Pyatt, D G & Rodwell, J (in press) Characterization of the woodland flora and
woodland communities in Britain using Ellenberg Values and Functional Analysis.
Proceedings of Sheffield conference.
(excluding research reports)
(1984) Forestry operations and broadleaf woodland conservation. Nature
Conservancy Council, Peterborough (Focus on nature conservation 8). 59pp
K J, Peterken, G F, Spencer, J W & Walker, G J (1984) Inventories
of ancient semi-natural woodland. Nature Conservancy Council, Peterborough (Focus on nature conservation 6). 67pp
A S & Kirby, K J
(1985) The use of permanent quadrats to record changes in the structure and
composition of Wytham Woods, Oxfordshire. Nature Conservancy Council, Peterborough (Research and survey in nature conservation 1). 16pp
(1988) A woodland survey handbook. Nature Conservancy Council, Peterborough (Research and survey in nature conservation 11). 164pp
K J & Wright, F J
(editors) (1988) Woodland conservation and research in the clay
vale of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. Nature Conservancy Council, Peterborough (Research and survey in nature conservation 15). 132pp
Walker, G J &
Kirby, K J
(1989) Inventories of ancient, long-established and semi-natural woodland
for Scotland. Nature Conservancy Council, Peterborough (Research and survey
in nature conservation 22). 63pp
D B A & Kirby, K J (editors) (1990) Grazing research and nature
conservation in the uplands, Nature Conservancy Council, Peterborough
(Research and survey in nature conservation 31). 76pp
A M & Kirby, K J
(1991) Summary of national vegetation classification woodland descriptions.
Joint Nature Conservation Committee (UK Nature Conservation 4), Peterborough, 37pp.
K J & Drake,
C M (editors) (1993) Dead wood matters: the ecology and conservation
of saproxylic invertebrates in Britain. (English Nature Science 7), Peterborough, English Nature. 105pp.
K J & Buckley, G P (editors) (1994) Ecological responses to the
1987 Great Storm in the woods of south-east England. English Nature
(English Nature Science 23), Peterborough. 170pp.
K J (1995)
Rebuilding the English countryside. English Nature (English Nature
Science 10),Peterborough. 39pp.
J E & Kirby, K J
(1998) The relationship between Biodiversity Action Plan Priority and
Broad Woodland Habitat Types and other woodland classifications. Joint
Nature Conservation Committee (Report No 288), Peterborough.
J E, Kirby, K J & Morecroft, M D (1999) Minimum intervention woodlands
and their use for ecological research in Great Britain. Joint Nature
Conservation Committee (Report No 295), Peterborough.
K J & Morecroft, M D (2000) Long term studies in British woodland.
English Nature (English Nature Science 34),Peterborough. 129pp.
J E, Kirby, K J, & Whitbread, A M (2001). National Vegetation
Classification field guide to woodland. Joint Nature Conservation
(excluding book reviews, newspaper articles etc less that three pages)
R J, Gibson, C W D, Bunt, S M & Kirby, K J (1974) Report
of the expedition to Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, 1973. Bulletin
of the Oxford University Exploration Club 22,17-94.
(1981) Recent research and the future of upland and lowland woods. In Recreation
and planning for nature conservation and amenity in woodlands, edited by K
Hearn, 34-48, Recreation Ecology Research Group Report.
(1982) Broadleaved woodlands of the Duddon Valley, Cumbria. Quarterly
Journal of Forestry 76, 83-91.
(1982) The NCC view (of forestry). ECOS 3, 15-18.
T A & Kirby, K J
(1982) The vegetation of Lundy Island. Lundy Field Society 33rd Annual
K J & Heap, J R
(1984) Forestry and nature conservation in Romania. Quarterly Journal of Forestry
(1985) Ancient woodland: getting to know the facts. Country Landowner
G J & Kirby, K J
(1987) An historical approach to woodland conservation in Scotland. Scottish Forestry 41, 87-98.
(1988) The conservation of fungi in Britain. The Mycologist
K J & May, J
(1989) The effects of enclosure, conifer planting and the subsequent removal
of conifers in Dalavich oakwood (Argyll). Scottish Forestry 43,
(1990) Some thoughts on demonstration woods as a means of encouraging good
forestry and conservation practice. Quarterly Journal of Forestry 84,
K J, Saunders, G R & Whitbread, A M (1991) The National Vegetation
Classification in nature conservation surveys. British Wildlife, 3,
(1992) Ancient woodland - a recreatable resource? Tree News, summer
(1992) Short rotation coppice as a new feature in the countryside. In Wood
- energy and the environment, edited by G E Richards, pp149-157, Energy
Technology Support Unit, Harwell.
A S, Farrell, L, Kirby, K J &Thomas, R C (1995) Changes in abundance and
size of dog’s mercury apparently associated with grazing by muntjac. Deer,
K J (1996)
Woodland variation, now and in the future: every wood is different. Transactions
of the Suffolk Naturalists’ Society 32, 138-148
(1996) The importance of native woods for nature conservation in the national
parks of England and Wales. Quarterly Journal of Forestry 90,
(1999) Trees, people and profits - into the next millenium: biodiversity and
forestry. Quarterly Journal of Forestry 93, 221-226.
K J & Solly, L
(2000) Assessing the condition of woodland SSSIs in England. British
Wildlife 11, 305-311.
(2001) A preliminary view of the effects of the Foot and Mouth outbreak on
woodland wildlife. Quarterly Journal of Forestry 95, 299-302.
Butler, J, Currie, F,
& Kirby K J
(2002) There’s life in that deadwood, so leave some in your woodland. Quarterly
Journal of Forestry, 96, 131-137.
(2003) Under a green mantle In 'In praise of trees', published by
Salisbury Festival/English Nature, pp 11-15
Kirby, K J, Robertson, H J, & Isted, R
(2004). Fresh woods and pastures new: from site-gardening to hands-off
landscapes. ECOS 25, 26-33.
Kirby, K J (2004)
Rewilding and the role of large herbivores. Ecos 25, 59-62
Hodder, K.H., Buckland, P.C., Kirby, K.J. &
Bullock, J.M. (2009). Can the pre-Neolithic provide suitable
models for re-wilding the landscape in Britain? British Wildlife, 20,
Kirby, K.J. (2009) Policy
in or for the wilderness? British Wildlife, 20, (supplement)
Kirby, K.J., Jefferson, R., Larwood, J., Russell,
D., Le Bas, B. & Wright, R. (In press) What has the SSSI
improvement programme achieved for nature conservation in England? British
ENGLISH NATURE RESEARCH REPORTS
Kirby, K J, Latham, J., Holl, K., Bryce, J.,
Corbett, P. & Watson, R. (2002). Objective setting and
condition monitoring within woodland sites of special scientific interest.
Peterborough, English Nature (Research Report 472).
(2003) What might a British forest- landscape driven by large herbivores
look like? Peterboorugh: English Nature Research Report 530
Kirby, K.J., Smart, S.M., Black, H.I.J., Bunce,
R.G.H.,Corney,P.M.and Smithers,R.J. (2005). Long
term ecological change in British woodland (1971-2001). Peterborough:
English Nature (Research Report 653).
Hodder, K.H., Bullock, J.M., Buckland, P.C. &
Kirby, K.J. 2005. Large herbivores in the wildwood and modern
naturalistic grazing systems. Peterborough: English Nature (Research Report 648).
Full Publication List (while at this department)
2010) A participatory process for identifying and prioritizing policy-relevant research questions in natural resource management: A case study from the UK forestry sector Forestry. 83 (4): pp 357-367.
1998) Changes in the composition of Monks Wood national nature reserve (Cambridgeshire, UK) 1964-1996 Arboricultural Journal. 22 (3): pp 229-245
1996) Monitoring of changes in tree and shrub layers in Wytham Woods (Oxfordshire), 1974-1991 Forestry. 69 (4): pp 318-334