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Opportunity knocks: RFS response to Brexit consultation in Wales
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Rfs Chief Executive Simon Lloyd Lr
Simon Lloyd:" There's significant opportunity to increase economic value of forestry in Wales." 

The Royal Forestry Society (RFS) says there is a significant opportunity to increase the economic value of forestry in Wales by bringing unmanaged woodland back into management and by woodland creation on marginal land.

Welcoming the Welsh Government’s Brexit and our Land consultation, the RFS warns much needs to be done to put in place the skills and support necessary to enable the boost to local economies and rural jobs to happen. 

RFS Chief Executive Simon Lloyd says: “RFS members in Wales have been reporting near-universal dissatisfaction and frustration with forestry-related grant schemes including Glastir. A single Land Management programme post Brexit should be accessible to all with an early decision essential on the initial balance of funding between the Economic Resilience and Public Goods schemes such as of carbon sequestration, flood control, water quality and biodiversity.”

In its submission to the consultation, the RFS calls on the Welsh Government to implement:

  • a clearly defined system of payments for Public Goods which will reward those who are already managing woods as well as those who are improving their management services;
  • support for education, training and knowledge transfer on woodland management
  • long-term agreements which support woodland management schemes;
  • collaborative woodland management;
  • investment in forestry roads and processing equipment to bring more timber to market and create jobs;
  • incentives to increase the use of timber in construction in Wales, and invest in biomass;

and to 

  • recognise the importance of non native tree species in climate change adaptation, flood attenuation and carbon sequestration.

Farmers in particular, the RFS believes, could benefit from managing their woodlands to diversify incomes.

Simon Lloyd adds: “Organisations like the RFS, whose purpose is knowledge transfer and skills development, can play a very key role in making this happen. The Welsh government can help facilitate connecting farmers and landowners with organisations which can help them develop their woodland.”

Read our full submission here