Forestry in England Inquiry
An Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Sub Committee has launched an inquiry into the role of Defra in supporting a thriving forest economy and environment in England. The report is expected in spring 2017.
|Chief Executive Simon Lloyd represented members views at the Forestry in England Inquiry|
The Royal Forestry Society was among a number of organisations to give written evidence. Chief Executive Simon Lloyd was also invited to give oral evidence on behalf of our members to the Sub Committee at the Palace of Westminster on 10 January 2017, sharing a witness panel with Beccy Speight, CEO, The Woodland Trust, and Martin Glynn, Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Foresters.
The Sub Committee recognises that the forestry sector contributes some £1.7 billion a year to the economy and indirectly supports 43,000 jobs. Woods and forests, particularly ancient forests, provide many environmental benefits including enhancing biodiversity and supporting a range of ecosystem services such as water management and climate control. In addition, forests provide recreational and amenity value to society.
Terms of reference
The Sub Committee is seeking recommendations on how effectively current government policies achieve the objectives below and how they should be developed in future to:
- Increase the level of tree cover and improve management of private and public forests in England;
- Balance woodland protection, including of ancient forests, with economic exploitation, including developing woods as an energy source;
- Provide a strategic framework, including fiscal and regulatory regimes, to support forestry businesses;
- Provide grants and advice through the CAP and the Rural Development Programme, and any successor programme, for England that incentivise the sector to deliver multiple economic and environmental benefits; and
- Ensure there is the right research, including into management of pests and diseases, which is well integrated into policy development
The committee also took oral evidence from CONFOR, CLA, National Forest Company, Forestry Minister Dr Coffey, Forestry Commission England, Natural England and Forest Research.