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Consultation on the future of the public forest estate

The consultation on the future of the Public Forest Estate in England was halted on 17 February 2011. It was clear that people cherish their forests and woodlands and the benefits they bring but were not happy with the proposals we had set out. We want to thank those of you who have taken the time to contribute your thoughts and ideas.

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 (FC) is principally responsible to the Secretary of State for leading the delivery of policy for trees woods and forests.

Latest news

Forestry Regulation Taskforce

On 18 January 2011 the Chair, Membership and Terms of Reference of the Industry Led Forestry Regulation Task Force were announced. The Minister of State for Agriculture and Food fully supports this taskforce and previously announced its formation at the APF International Exhibition last September.

The Taskforce has been asked to identify a review of the relevant regulations and their implementation for both the management of existing forests and the establishment of new ones. It will also gain an understanding of the impact of regulation on businesses both up and down the wood supply chain.

The taskforce will report its findings in the summer. Further information on the Terms of Reference, membership and opportunities for the public to feed into the taskforce 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.

Page last modified: 18 February 2011