Defra consultation seeks farmers' views on trees and woodland

The government is consulting on plans to update its policy for trees, woodland and forestry
The government is consulting on plans to update its policy for trees, woodland and forestry

Farmers and landowners are being invited to give their views on the future creation and management of woodland in England.

A Defra consultation has been launched today (19 June) on the England Tree Strategy, which will run for 12 weeks.

It is seeking views on how to increase tree planting and woodland management. Farmers are being invited to have their say.

Subject to consultation, the new strategy will set out policies to expand tree cover and increase public engagement with woodlands.

It comes as the government committed to increase tree planting to 30,000 hectares per year across the UK by 2025.

The government is also asking for views on the most effective way in which trees and woodlands can be created and managed to help combat climate change.

Forestry minister Lord Goldsmith said the government needed input from landowners, farmers and the public.

“In many ways the coronavirus pandemic has shone a light on the importance of nature," he said.

"Growing and protecting our nation’s forests will be an integral part of our recovery, and the England Tree Strategy will give us the tools to do this.

“This consultation will help inform a keystone strategy which will be vital for helping us deliver the government’s tree planting commitment, our commitment to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.”

The England Tree Strategy will be developed in parallel with other key strategies that flow from the 25 Year Environment Plan.

These include the recent Tree Health Resilience Strategy and the forthcoming England Peat Strategy, as well the future Environmental Land Management Scheme for farmers.

The consultation period is due to conclude in 12 weeks on 11 September 2020. Subject to review, the England Tree Strategy will be published later in the year.