Canopy Access

A canopy access system for researchers is in place in Arrays 1 to 6. This system was installed Spring 2018. At the top of each 25 meter high central tower, a cross bar extends from the tower, to a maximum of 4 metres (see image below). The length of each cross bar differs between arrays dependant on the proximity of the trees. A winch system can be moved between arrays and connected to a researcher’s choice of cross bar and also at their specified distance away from the central tower. The electric ascender system is operated by the BIFoR Operations team who have all had considerable training and deemed competent persons, however the researcher does not need prior training in order to be a user of the Canopy Access System.  Regular users of the Canopy Access system are Anna Gardner, Carolina Mayoral, Sue Quick and Tom King

BIFoR also enlists the help of local tree surgeons monthly from March to October to collect leaf and twig tissue from 3 heights in the canopy in each of the 9 arrays for oak trees, and sub canopy trees hawthorn, hazel and sycamore (see video below). We have a bio bank of tissue sample from 2015 to 2022.  It is possible we can ask the tree surgeons to take additional samples for new research proposals. 

We also have ladders in the forest that enable sampling in the sub-canopy (see images below). 

We encourage new research ideas and requests to use the 'Canopy Access System'. If you've got a research idea that requires access to the canopy, be it related to research in our elevated carbon dioxide arrays (atmosphere of the future) and / or our control plots (atmosphere of today!). Please complete the form or you contact us with your initial idea and we can take it from there.


Prof Pritchard takes a journey up into the canopy
Carolina floating desk Researcher Carolina Mayoral, is able to reach the sunlit leaves at the top of the canopy to take her measurements of photosynthesis and stomatal conductance.

Canopy Access looking up condensedLooking up at the cross bars at the of the 25 metre 

High Seats_2020-07-16 12.18.43 canopy access ladders smallerMobile A-frame ladders to access the sub canopy.

canopy access operator condensed

Canopy access system operator.  




Canopy access by local tree surgeons takes place monthly