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Task Force boost to sustainable forestry

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Issue date: 
27 MARCH 2012
Publisher Name: 
Forestry Commmission UK
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The Government has announced it will implement a host of the forestry sector’s own recommendations to boost sustainable forestry and the green economy in its response to the Forestry Regulation Task Force published today, 27 March 2012.

The Task Force identified more than 40 ways to make it easier for those who want to create, and sustainably manage, woods and forests in England. The Government endorsed the Task Force’s view on forestry’s significant value and the opportunity to realise more of its potential, committing to continued close working with the sector.

Pam Warhurst, Forestry Commission Chair said:

“Looking after our country’s woodlands can go hand-in-hand with growing a green economy and vibrant forestry sector. I’m delighted that we have been able to respond so positively to the many recommendations that came out of the hard work from the Forestry Regulatory Task Force.

“Now’s the time to refresh our relationship with the sector. Building on the Task Force’s report, we will refocus our time and effort in some areas to doing less while helping others to do more. We will develop a risk-based approach to regulation that recognises good past performance yet keeps strong protection for our woodlands.

“There is a commitment too, to work with the forestry sector to increase understanding of what good woodland management is all about and at the same time harness their passion for them by making it easier to report suspected illegal felling.

“The Task Force’s report is a mixture of quick-wins that we will implement as soon as we can, yet is clear that there is more work to be done for long-term change.”

An Independent Panel on Forestry under the Chairmanship of Bishop James Jones is due to report in Spring 2012 and a small number of recommendations from the Regulatory Task Force will be considered as part of a wider response to the Government’s policy for Forestry in England.


Notes to Editor

  1. The Regulation Task Force reported in October and December 2011. Their report ‘Challenging Assumptions, Changing Perceptions’ is available online(6MB).

    In all the Task Force came up with 41 recommendations and the great majority have been accepted by Government.

    Many of the recommendations reflect the finding that reducing regulation for forestry is ‘low risk’.  The Forestry Commission will be working with owners and managers to reduce the need for checks and visits building on trust and proven track records using the concept of ‘earned recognition’.

    The importance of long term forest planning is emphasised and the Forestry Commission will be working more closely with partners such as Natural England to streamline grants and permissions.

    Mindful of the need to protect woodland from unlicensed and in some cases illegal felling, the Forestry Commission will be making it easier for members of the public to report tree felling. A web based reporting method will be set up and members of the public will be able to see whether a permission is needed or whether one has already been granted.

    The members were:
    • Chris Starr, chartered forester and independent consultant
    • Stuart Goodall, ConFor
    • George McRobbie, UPM Tilhill
    • John Morris, Chilterns Woodlands Project
    • Gordon Pfetscher, Woodland Trust
    • Mike Seville, CLA
    • John Wilding, Clinton Devon Estates

  2. The full Government response can be found online.
  3. Details of The Independent Panel on Forestry can be found online.
  4. Media contact: Stuart Burgess, 0117 372 1073, stuart.burgess@forestry.gov.uk


Extpub | by Dr. Radut