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Forestry in Wales

Where’s the commitment to forestry? -  download the RFS's full response to the Welsh Government's latest consultation Sustainable farming and our land here.

The RFS points out the consultation does not identify whether forestry would have the same access to funding as agriculture in the future and says the term ‘land manager, used in a consultation Brexit and our Land last year (see below), had held out the prospect that all forms of sustainable and environmentally beneficial land use would compete with agriculture on equal terms for access to funding.

RFS Chief Executive Simon Lloyd says: “The term ‘land manager’ has been dropped in this latest consultation and it is unclear whether all or only a part of forestry activity would be included in the scope of the proposed Sustainable Land Management system.

“We believe forestry in all its diverse forms is vital to the Welsh Government’s environmental goals and climate change targets. At a time when it is widely accepted that a rapid acceleration of tree planting is part of climate change responses, we hope the final report will acknowledge the importance of sustainable woodland creation and management schemes in developing policy proposals.”


 

In our response to the Welsh Government’s 2018  Brexit and our Land Consultation we stated that we believe there is a significant opportunity to increase the economic value of forestry in Wales by bringing unmanaged woodland back into management and by woodland creation on marginal land, but there is much to be done.

We called on the Welsh Government to implement:

  • a clearly defined system of payments for Public Goods which will reward those who are already managing woods as well as those who are improving their management services;
  • support for education, training and knowledge transfer on woodland management
  • long-term agreements which support woodland management schemes;
  • collaborative woodland management;
  • investment in forestry roads and processing equipment to bring more timber to market and create jobs;
  • incentives to increase the use of timber in construction in Wales, and invest in biomass;

and to 

  • recognise the importance of non native tree species in climate change adaptation, flood attenuation and carbon sequestration.

Download our response right 

The Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee of the National Assembly for Wales has published the results of an inquiry into forestry and woodland policy in Wales.

The Report, Branching out: a new ambition for woodland policies, can be downloaded right

The RFS has broadly welcomed the recommendations but warned that the need to bring more woodlands in Wales back into management should not be overlooked by an emphasis on new planting and woodland creation.

We have also expressed disappointment that there is no commitment to funding research into building greater resilience into woodlands. 

The written evidence submitted by the RFS to the Inquiry can also be downloaded right.