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Forestry experts teach worldwide lessons from Cumbria

Experts are in Cumbria to teach lessons for woodlands worldwide Photo: ITV Border

The Lake District has the X-Factor when it comes to forests. Experts are so excited they've come from all over the world to visit Cumbria this week.

They'll use the skills they've learned here to prevent flooding and make their areas more profitable.

The experts were so excited about Cumbrian forests they braved the rain and midges to learn in outdoor classrooms.

Lessons were held outside Credit: ITV Border

"The thing about these forests is they've got many different layers to them and you've been seeing all around here young trees, middle-aged trees and great big huge fantastic trees. And in terms of things such as water, that helps slow down the rate at which rainfall runs down through the soil and into the... so that reduces the risk of flooding for example. Also having these fabulous big trees gives us really high-value products, which actually we can ship all around and actually reduce our balance of trade.

So there's benefits: economic, environmental and they're just beautiful woodlands and that's why people come to see them in the Lake District."

– Ted Wilson, Continuous Cover Forestry Group

Continuous cover forests are never cleared. New trees are planted next to old ones.

The idea is that there's always vegetation to soak up water, which stops it running into towns and causing flooding.

Now skills adapted in Cumbria will be used in forests around the world.

New trees are planted next to old ones to help prevent flooding Credit: ITV Border

"There's growing interest in Ireland that we - for climate change, for biodiversity, for water quality issues - that we have to change the way that we manage our forests into the future."

– Cathy Fitzgerald, Eco Artist in Ireland

"We've started using this - we've been using it for maybe about 15 years now - especially in the recreational areas around Kielder Reservoir through where people are walking and mountain biking and it's quite new for us so we're still learning."

– Graham Gill, North of England Forestry Commission Manager

One of the learners is Prince Charles' tree surgeon. His Royal Highness is a fan of continuous cover forests.

"It's a part of the world I don't know very well, I have to say, although His Royal Highness of course is very familiar with this area and very fond of this area so it's a great opportunity for me to come and see the beautiful scenery but also learn from really a number of world-class experts on this subject and to take the lessons back to the Duchy of Cornwall's estate."

– Geraint Richards, Duchy of Cornwall's Head Forester.
Experts have come from over the world to Cumbria Credit: ITV Border