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portions of our soil are admirably adapted for tree growth. They point to the numerous cases where landowners have fine timber to dispose of and cannot get a decent price for it, and they overlook or disregard the obvious reasons for this, namely irregularity of quantity and quality in the supply and the want of business connection between producer and consumer. The landowner who wants to dispose one year of several thousand tons of mixed hard and soft wood, and another year of fifty large oaks, may have nothing to offer for sale in the third year, and in the fourth year comes into market with twenty acres of mature larch, will be lucky indeed if he can command a good market which he has been at no pains to deserve. No farm, no factory, no productive industry of any kind, could be run at a profit with such an utter absence of system as prevails in most private woodlands. The merchant, knowing exactly what he wants, goes where experience tells him he is sure to get it, both as regards quantity and uniform quality. As these requisites can only be ensured in the produce either of virgin forest or in forest managed on a regular working plan of rotation, he naturally looks to foreign sources of supply.

Undoubtedly, although the British Isles are capable of producing timber of as high a quality as any other part of the world, that which comes into the market is far inferior to that which is grown in foreign countries. Ten years ago, or thereby (I forget the exact date), I was allowed to deal with this matter in the pages of this Review, and to refer to the mischievous tradition which encouraged the growth of branches instead of bole, producing coarse, knotted wood instead of clean long planks. Good timber can only be grown in close canopy, which kills off side branches, checks undue width of annual growth-rings, and by keeping down ground herbage, encourages the accumulation of forest soil. But close canopy is not ideal game cover, for which dense undergrowth can only be secured by thinning out the trees to an extent which ruins them as a crop. This was all very well in the days when it took 2200 mature oaks, the more crooked the better, to build a single one of Nelson's 'seventy-fours,' but it is a sad waste of fine material now that our battleships are all built of iron. Modern cover-shooting is such a thoroughly artificial affair, depending not upon the naturalstock of game, but upon thousands of hand-reared pheasants, that it requires no superhuman craft to adapt it to the conditions of

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? Even Mr. H. J. Elwes, who has pronounced profitable forestry to be out of the question in the United Kingdom (gambling in futures' is the term he applies to it) bears testimony to its capabilities for producing fine timber. In the introduction to the splendid work upon British trees which he is in course of producing in collaboration with Dr. Henry, the authors state that 'after having seen the trees of every country in Europe, of nearly all the States of North America, of Canada, Japan, China, West Siberia and Chile, we confidently assert that the United Kingdom contains a greater number of fine trees from the temperate regions of the world than any other country.'




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well-grown forest. Indeed it was from Germany, the home of scientific forestry, that the late Prince Consort imported the system of battue, now all prevalent in this country. Given a few advantageous

ends' to put the birds over the guns in artistic style, and it is only a question of skill how to bring the game to those points. At Holkham, that Mecca of low-ground sport, there is, or used to be, one principal place—the hill called Scarborough—for successive rises throughout the day, the pheasants being manœuvred through miles of surrounding woodland to run the gauntlet of the guns at that spot.

Fortunately, the modern fashion of cover-shooting tends to discourage ground game, except in enclosed warren.

Ground game, say the Commissioners, has been the cause of immense destruction amongst the young trees, and thus it has, in a measure, directly brought about that condition of understocking which is so inimical to the growth of good timber and to the successful results of forestry. Nor is it possible, in the presence of even a moderate head of ground game, to secure natural regeneration of woodlands, the young seedling trees being nibbled over almost as soon as they appear above ground.'

This is far from stating the whole mischief caused by rabbits. The presence of these insatiable rodents entails a serious increase in the initial outlay of planting owing to the necessity for wire netting. To enclose a square block of sixty-four acres takes 2240 yards of 14-inch mesh, 42 inches wide, with 6 inches turned under the sod and larch posts to carry it. If this can be done for 6d.a running yard (it certainly cannot be done for less), the cost of the whole fence will be 561., and this figure will be indefinitely increased where the enclosure is of irregular shape, as must often be the case. For instance, if the rectangle is twice as long as it is broad, it will require 2805 yards of netting, costing 701. 28. 6d. Moreover, the smaller the area the greater the proportionate cost of enclosing it. A square of a single acre in extent takes 280 yards of netting = 71. ; four acres in a square take 560 yards = 141. or 70s. an acre ; 1024 acres in a square take 8960 yards = 2241., or 48. 4}d. an acre, and so on. Assuredly rabbits, even in moderate numbers, are the chief hindrance to forestry in this country, and, where they abound, they are absolutely prohibitive of profitable tree growth.

Complaints are often heard about the effect of railway rates upon the traffic in home-grown timber, and railway companies are bitterly blamed for making preferential charges in favour of foreign timber. Such difference must always exist between regular and spasmodic traffic. The imports of foreign timber being regular in amount, in the ports of consignment and in their destination, the railway companies know pretty accurately how much rolling stock will be required for the traffic and at what periods. They are able, therefore, to undertake the transport at rates far lower than they could accept for casual loads from wayside stations, where, perhaps, there is no crane or other appliance for dealing with weighty timber. This difficulty would disappear were British forests yielding a regular annual fall of fixed amount. Another circumstance affecting the carriage rates of timber usually escapes consideration, namely, that British timber, being in the round, is far more troublesome to handle than foreign timber, which is consigned either squared, or in planks or balks.

(2) Having before us the confident assurance of three Forestry Committees and a Royal Commission, that there are no physical or climatic impediments to the afforestation of large areas within these islands, and that the financial prospect of such an undertaking is so favourable as to justify the State in proceeding with it, there remains for consideration the social effect of the enterprise and the extent to which it may be expected to provide employment, permanent or temporary.

According to Continental experience, it appears that in established forest under rotation of eighty years, where the whole of the felling is performed by the regular forest staff, one man is employed throughout the year for every seventy-five acres. Add to this the subsidiary industries created by mature forest-carting, sawmilling, and the like--estimated by Professor Sohlich as requiring the labour of three or four times the number of the forest staff, and there is employment in the

proportion of one man to every eighteen acres of forest. It was estimated in 1906 that about 8,000,0001. was paid annually in salaries and wages for the administration, formation and preservation of German forests, representing the maintenance of about 200,000 families or about 1,000,000 souls, and that in working up the raw material yielded by the forests, wages were earned annually to the amount of 30,000,0001., maintaining about 600,000 families or three million souls.

The United Kingdom imports from Germany wood-pulp paper material and paper manufactured from wood to the value of between 8,000,0001. and 10,000,000l. per annum. All this might, under proper system, be produced in the British Isles. There are, or were not long ago, two or three pulping mills or cellulose factories in this country, but they have to import the soft wood required in that industry, for the simple reason that there are no woodlands in Britain managed on such a system as to ensure the miller a regular supply of raw material. Dr. Nisbet, writing in 1903, has described the genesis and growth of this great industry on the Continent:

The first wood-pulp factory was started in Saxony about 1854, and the first cellulose factory about 1874. There are now in Germany alone, to say nothing of Austria, Sweden, and Norway, over 600 pulp-mills, using nearly 36,000,000 cubic feet of wood per annum, and seventy-one cellulose factories, consuming about 30,000,000 cubic feet. And these are comparatively new industries, capable of enormous expansion, and likely in time to raise the price of the softer woods suited for the trade--willow, poplar, birch, lime, and the softer conifers."

3 The Forester, vol. i. p. 84.


After all, considering that both the present generation and the next must have passed away before much of the forest about to be created is productive,“ the matter of most concern to us is what immediate demand for labour may be anticipated from afforestation. Upon that point the Commissioners were guided by professional and other evidence before them that the operation of planting requires on an average the labour of twelve men upon every hundred acres during the planting season of five or six months, and the permanent employment of one man to every hundred acres. Suppose, therefore, that the Department of Woods and Forests were to undertake the planting of their newly. acquired estate of Inverliever at the rate of only 1000 acres per annum, what would be the effect upon the local population? Hitherto it may be assumed that these 12,500 acres afforded employment for, say, seven or eight shepherds and three gamekeepers, ten or eleven men in all, Henceforward the temporary labour of 120 men would be required during six months, from October to March, and the permanent services of ten men throughout the year upon every 1000 acres planted. At the end of thirteen years, after the whole area had been planted, 130 woodmen would be permanently employed instead of the ten or eleven who were formerly occupied in tending sheep and game. In short, the class of land which is to be dealt with would support, if under forest, ten or twelve times the population which derives a living from it in its present condition.

So much for the effect of forestry as a source of permanent or periodical employment; but the question presents itself at onceto what can the extra or temporary hands turn when their six months employment ceases in spring, and what amount of training do they require for the work allotted to them in the forest ? The answer is found in the natural and intimate association which has been formed in several countries between forestry and small holdings. In Lord Lovat's Inverness-shire woods, for instance, extending to about 10,000 acres, much of the work is done by crofters paying 41. or 51. of annual rent. It is notorious that life can only be sustained on the average Highland croft at a level of bare subsistence, unless the crofter can supplement his means by fishing, acting as gillie to sportsmen, or by labour on a neighbour's larger farm. Given these aids, the croft is an inestimable boon, the locus of a comfortable and happy home; without them, it is impossible to wring a decent living out of a few acres of arable ground and common grazing, as has been abundantly proved in the present year by the extent to which the general crofter population of the Highlands and the peasantry of Ireland have claimed and received old age pensions.

* The most rapid return from plantation known to the writer is that from eight acres at Taymount, which was planted, far too thinly, with Douglas fir in 1860. In 1900 the owner received an offer of 16001. for the trees, 1796 in number, equal to 2001. an acre.

5 The Corporation of Manchester plant annually 100 to 120 acres at Thirlmere, employing twenty men; the Corporation of Leeds accomplish 100 to 150 acres with staff of twelve to fifteen men.

For an example of the stimulus given to small holdings by forest employment, we may turn once more to Germany :

It is almost a universal rule in Germany (said Professor Schlich in his evi. dence) that there are no permanent forest workmen, only the protective staff to look after and take care of the forest. The work . . . in the greater part of the country is done in winter, and by the same men as cultivate the landsmall holders ; some have one acre, some five, some up to ten, which they cultivate in summer, and when winter comes round and there is nothing to do in the fields they work in the forest.

Similar evidence came from other witnesses. Mr. Frith said that on the forestry demonstration area recently acquired by the State in Denbighshire, some of the men employed were small holders.

All this is very encouraging in connexion with the problem of small holdings ; indeed the key to their success seems to consist in the provision of suitable winter employment for the holder ; but it scarcely touches the existing difficulty of the unemployed. Even were the Government able and willing to start afforestation on a large scale immediately, it would be impossible to find work for more than a very small percentage of those whose necessity weighs so heavily upon the community in times of depressed trade. In the first place there is no means of lodging thousands of men in the regions which it is proposed to plant; in the second place it would be unreasonable to expect anything but disappointment from setting city hands, untrained and uninured to exposure, to an unfamiliar kind of work in the bleakest parts of the country at the most inclement season of the year. Even hardy agricultural labourers, accustomed to spade and other outdoor work, require two or three weeks' instruction and close supervision before they can be trusted in the delicate though simple operation of planting, upon the right execution of which the whole future of the forest depends.

Moreover, supposing it were possible to utilise the out-of-works in times of slack trade, how would their places be filled when industrial revival recalled them to their city homes? If the State forest is to justify itself, it must be run on business lines, and cannot be subjected to the irregularity inseparable from casual labour. Mr. Keir Hardie, M.P., struck the true note when he advocated extension of State forests ' not only to meet periods of temporary distress due to unemployment, but work which would permanently enlarge the area of employment.' The special value of forestry on a large and systematic scale is that it calls for most labour in winter, when field labour is at its lowest and work is normally scarce, quite independently of the general condition of trade. This applies with special force to Ireland, the evidence of Mr. Doran, Chief Land Inspector

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