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Forestry

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Background

Domestic forestry has a key role to play in meeting the government’s priorities of:

  • supporting and developing British farming and encouraging sustainable food production
  • helping to enhance the environment and biodiversity to improve quality of life
  • supporting a strong and sustainable green economy, resilient to climate change

England’s trees, woods and forests, ranging from individual street trees to networks of woodland in the countryside are a unique asset. They are rich in biodiversity, popular places for recreation and leisure, producers of products such as fuel and wood for use in our daily lives and an important part of our response to climate change. We need to manage and expand this resource sustainably, for ours and future generations, recognising all of these multiple benefits. In England, the Forestry Commission is principally responsible to the Secretary of State for leading the delivery of policy for trees woods and forests.

Forestry Regulation Taskforce

The Government has published its response to the Forestry Regulation Task Force report ‘Challenging Assumptions, Changing Perceptions’. The Government agrees with the Task Force on the significant value of forestry and the potential for further unlocking even more. In this response, we describe how Government will take forward their recommendations, as we introduce an even greater focus on a risk based approach to forestry regulation which has its basis in planning for long term sustainable forest management.

The report, published on 27 October made over 40 recommendations to improve the regulatory landscape for the forestry sector.

This follows an extensive review of the regulations that affect both the management of existing forests and the establishment of new ones, and the way they are implemented. To inform the Government response Chris Starr, Chair of the Forestry Regulation Task Force drafted a paper on the concept of Woodland Partnership.

Further information on the Terms of Reference, membership and the related meeting notes can be found on the Forestry Commission website at

National Forest

The National Forest Company leads the creation of The National Forest, a new, wooded landscape for the nation across 200 square miles of central England. The National Forest Company was established by the government in April 1995. It is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Defra.

The forest will provide benefits in the form of landscape improvement, recreation, education and nature conservation. In doing so it will help regenerate the economy of the area it covers. Further information can be found on the National Forest website.

Community Forest Programme

Community Forests looks to improve community involvement, inclusion, environmental regeneration and green infrastructure creation.

The programme works in partnership with local authorities and local, regional and national partners to revitalise derelict land into high quality environments.

Further information can be found on the Community Forest website.

See also

Page last modified: 4 December 2012