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Forestry sector takes action for resilient woodlands and forestry businesses
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The RFS is among organisations from the forestry sector, representing landowners, nurseries and forestry professionals, who have come together and agreed to take action to secure more resilient woodlands to benefit business and wildlife in a changing climate.

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Environment Minister Rory Stewart:"Building our resilience to climate change is important for everyoone"


 Commitments include supplying and growing a greater diversity of tree species as well as considering the provenance of seed to give the forests of the future the greatest chance of continuing to provide the many benefits they do, particularly in the face of damaging pests and diseases.

 There will be more sharing of skills and experiences from woodland managers who will look to expand alternative silvicultural systems such as Continuous Cover Forestry. It will expand understanding of the wider benefits including providing shade, cooling, improved drainage and weather shelter.

 Forestry Commission Chair Sir Harry Studholme said:

 “Forestry is a long term business and decisions we take today have to be relevant in ten, fifty or even a hundred years. In recent decades we have had the luxury of stability that has led our sector to grow and process a narrow range of species managed under simple silvicultural systems.

“The future is less certain but we do know circumstances will be different.  Forestry professionals have always been adaptable and we can make informed decisions and take action now to reduce and spread the risk to our businesses and the benefits forests provide to society.”

 Mike Seville, Forestry & Woodland Adviser, CLA said:

 “The forestry, agriculture and land use sector has significant opportunities to contribute to climate change mitigation but at the same time is one of the most exposed to climate impacts.

 “The CLA has been pleased to be part of this important initiative to embed adaptation to climate change into woodland management nationally. We urge all woodland owners and managers to lend their support to the accord statement produced by the group and to let their views be known by completing the online survey”.

 Environment Minister Rory Stewart added:

 "Building our resilience to climate change is important for everyone. That’s why we developed the first National Adaptation Programme report setting out actions for government, businesses, local councils and communities.

“It’s crucial we take the changing climate into account in all our decision making and I congratulate the forestry industry on these proposals. By ensuring we manage our woodlands carefully and plant more diverse species we can improve the resilience of our forests and safeguard them from the risks posed by climate change.”

 Forestry professionals, including woodland owners and managers, agents, tree nursery businesses, and foresters, are being asked for their assessment on how well the sector is adapting to environmental change.

 The British Woodland Survey 2015, funded by the Forestry Commission and Woodland Trust and hosted by the Sylva Foundation, is now live online and preliminary findings are expected to be revealed in early October.

 The final results will inform the government's second National Adaptation Programme report and will support forestry businesses as they make changes to adapt their businesses.