ELMS “must put economic sustainability alongside environmental benefits”
Recognising woodlands for locally targeted environmental outcomes could help bring many currently neglected and under managed woodland into long term and financially sustainable management, says the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) as consultation on Environmental Land Management (ELMS) Scheme is revealed
Recognising woodlands for locally targeted environmental outcomes could help bring many currently neglected and under managed woodland into long term and financially sustainable management, says the Royal Forestry Society (RFS).
As details of the Government’s flagship Environmental Land Management (ELMS) Scheme and a 10-week consultation period are revealed, RFS Chief Executive Simon Lloyd says: “The recognition of the important role of forestry is welcomed in the ELMS proposals but we will be looking to ensure economic outcomes are recognised alongside environmental outcomes for local areas. Economic and environmental benefits from woodland are not mutually exclusive, they must be addressed in tandem.
“With forestry central to climate change initiatives, innovation will be an important factor in climate adapting our woodland. We will be looking for commitments from government to forestry research as well as to agriculture research and to skilling both farmers and foresters within ELMS. These proposals must be clearly spelled out to give landowners the long- term confidence to invest in woodland.
“With nearly half of existing woodland in the UK un or undermanaged, most of it broadleaf, ELMS offers an opportunity to ensure that woodlands are rightly seen as central to their local areas. The RFS will be feeding into the consultation on behalf of all our members.”
The RFS position on ELMS is set out in the joint position statement from the forestry sector sent to the Secretary of State at Defra last year.
Defra is planning a pilot to start in late 2021, and for the start of the ELM scheme in 2024. Full details of the consultation document can be found here