Eight points: our response to Tree planning and Woodland Inquiry

The Royal Forestry Society has submitted written evidence to the EFRA committee Tree Planting and Woodland inquiry.

By Wendy Necar · December 7, 2020

We have outlined eight key points we believe are essential if ambitious woodland creation targets are to be achieved.

  • Government woodland creation targets are achievable but there is a large gap between ambition and action. This will not happen quickly so targets must be calibrated accordingly.
  • Government ambition in England must be matched with the scale of funding required to drive a step change in the rate of woodland creation and management.
  • Institutional and bureaucratic barriers to woodland creation must be removed.
  • The UK Forestry Standard (UKFS) should be the common basis on which forestry policy and practice is developed and delivered. We are currently falling short of this standard.
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation should be at the heart of forestry policy as the most effective way to draw together multiple environmental and economic benefits of trees and woods.
  • A big effort to build knowledge and skills through education and training at all levels, is a pre-requisite for success. This effort is currently chronically underfunded.
  • A stronger focus on improving the condition of existing broadleaf woodland is vital for their resilience to pests, disease and climate change. This requires funding.
  • Evidence suggests cooperation between devolved administrations is not a major cause for concern but a GB-wide framework for biosecurity policy which respects country specifics is required as a matter of priority post Brexit.