Future developments

The AA has exciting plans for Hooke Park that evolve the pedagogy, the site and place of Hooke Park as a place of learning, experimentation and sustainability.  Since taking on Hooke Park in 2002 and the formulation of the Strategic Plan in 2008 the Design & Make programme has become established and the new campus is taking place.

As the campus develops the courses at Hooke will also develop.  Timber technologies and ruralism  will sit alongside Design & Make to provide a holistic range of complimentary long courses whilst the robot arm and future developments in digital fabrication will enable us to offer a full range of short courses based on timber.

The forest and landscape will also develop at Hooke as we make the campus more a part of the forest and we undertake new plantings that make the forest a richer place and an exemplar site for new methods of forest management.

In 2013 an Implementation Plan was produced which sets out how the AA’s vision of the future of Hooke is to be undertaken; the vision, the ethos of development and the timeline for development.

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As the beech and Norway spruce reach maturity we are transforming Hooke Park’s forest to cope with the needs of future timber markets, future climate, future opportunities and threats.  What we plant to replace harvested timber will have most impact in two generations time when the timber reaches maturity and between now and then we must ensure new planting survives a changing climate, new pests and diseases, environmental threats.  Our new forest strategy is about diversity of the forest.

As we undertake harvesting of maturing crops we will replant with a mixture of conifer and broadleaf species that will provide a good mix of strong, durable and aesthetic timber to meet construction needs and will increase the ecological diversity of the forest.  We will have a more diverse age structure in the forest that will give a steady annual flow of timber and will provide resilience against storms.  In fifty year’s time Hooke Park will be a forest of diverse habitats producing a diverse range of timbers with a mixture of tree species that we know well as traditional forest species of the UK and of new more experimental species that we expect to cope well with a changing climate and have the potential to be valuable timber trees.

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