Forestry

Page updated:

Major revision Autumn 2017

Background

FR100. A successful, thriving and well-managed UK forestry and woodlands estate will be achieved through the application of ecosystem and silvicultural principles, to enhance the ecology, landscape, monetary and health economy, whilst mitigating CO2 and climate change risks.

Objectives

FR200

  1. Sustained cooperative relationship between public and private estates.
  2. Increase the area of cover in the UK to average cover across Europe.
  3. UK self-sufficiency in forest products.
  4. Optimise the quantity and quality of all forest products.
  5. Increase the involvement, employment and enjoyment of local communities.
  6. Maintain and protect ancient woodland and priority habitats.
  7. Protect and increase the Public Forest Estate (PFE).

Policy

Forest and Woodlands within national and local government

FR300 A Green Government will create an independent publicly funded 'UK Forestry and Woodlands Council' (UKFWC), to hold an advisory role to all UK ministries and agencies.

FR301 A Green Government will introduce Local Forestry Coordinators (LFC), as employees of the local authority/local representative of the UKFWC, advising and liaising with communities and the sector.

The Public Forestry Estate (PFE)

FR400 A Green Government will ensure that the PFE remains in public hands and will be constituted as land held in trust for the nation, with Trustees and Ministers accountable to Parliament.

FR401 A Green Government will drive the expansion of the UK estate/tree cover, through three component parts:

  • Forest Services, to manage the land cover of the PFE, allocate grants, enforce regulations and implement and police pest control.
  • Forest Research, to oversee and coordinate research through the PFE, academia and the commercial sector.
  • Forest Enterprise, to manage the PFE sustainably, plant, grow and fell standing timber, sustain balanced supply chains and encourage access.

Charitable Trusts & Estates

FR500 The Church Commissioners, the Church of England dioceses, the Crown Estates, and trusts such as the National Trust, RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trusts and significant private estates will be required to facilitate the creation of forestry and woodland serving biodiversity, energy, construction and social needs.

Increasing Forest Cover

FR600 A Green Government will facilitate an increase in overall tree cover so that it reaches a level that is on a par with average coverage in countries across Europe, consisting of unmanaged forest and woodland; harvested forest and woodland; unharvested (but managed) forest and woodland; short rotation forest and woodland; short rotation coppice; and agroforestry.

FR601 There will be a strong presumption against the permanent removal of woodland; any loss will be balanced by equivalent forest and woodland creation elsewhere, under the ultimate supervision of the UKFWC.

FR602 In particular, there will be a strong presumption to protect ancient woodland cover and veteran trees, both in rural and urban environments.

FR603 Furthermore, the planting of new forest and woodlands will be prioritised towards Grades 4 and 5 agricultural lands and land classified as 'severely disadvantaged'.

Energy Forestry

FR700 A Green Government will facilitate extensive planting of short rotation forestry and coppice for energy production.

Building and Packaging Materials

FR800 Supporting Green Party Industrial Policies IP202 and IP241, and climate change policy CC260, a Green Government will work to reduce UK imports of timbers that can be grown in the UK to zero, and also promote a 'Wood First' policy in all new buildings and in retrofitting existing ones.

FR801 A Green Government will work to facilitate the provision of sustainable and non-polluting packaging and fencing, maintain a regular output, and encourage the replacement of oil-based packaging with wood products that do not meet construction grades.

Biodiverse Ecosystems

FR900 A Green Government will work to maintain, enhance and restore forest ecosystems' resilience and multi-functionality, to provide key environmental services, including flood mitigation, air, soil and water quality.

FR901 Elected Greens will work to introduce a moratorium on the sale of ancient woodland from the PFE, as defined under the Ancient Woodlands Inventory.

FR902 Elected Greens will work to amend the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to exclude 'biodiversity offsetting'.

FR903 Elected Greens will encourage rewilding in certain areas to encourage natural regeneration.

FR904 A Green Government will promote appropriate planting to enhance biodiversity, both within woodland cover and related habitats, particularly understory.

Biosecurity

FR1000 A Green Government will recognise the significance of this critical area of research. This will include aspects such as improving the regulation and practice of biosecurity, embracing the Biosecurity Continuum, ensuring the updating and analysis of the risk register, improving training Border Agency staff in identifying problem plants and products, and including biosecurity management in relevant course curricula and increasing the capacity of Plant Health Services.

Building a Wood Culture

FR1100 A Green Government will promote access for children and young people into wooded areas, and ensure schools across England and Wales are fully aware of the roles available in forestry. Forest schools will be encouraged.

FR1101 A Green Government will ensure that forest ecosystems and management are incorporated into school curricula; in Further and Higher Education there will be encouragement to include wood, forest and woodland cover into relevant subject areas.

Public Access and Health Benefits

FR1200 A Green Government will work to ensure that no person lives more than 500m from green spaces with trees and encourage community woodland.

FR1201 Elected Greens will work to promote the health and well-being benefits of access to trees and woodlands.

FR1202 Elected Greens will work towards maintaining and improving current levels of public access, and pay special attention to community and urban woodland within the planning process.

Standards

FR1300 In enacting this policy elected Greens recognise the UK Forestry Standard (UKFS), the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), the Forest Stewardship Council's (FSC), UK Forestry Stewardship Standard (UKFSS) and the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS) for forestry and woodland management; the Woodland Carbon Code for sustainable forest-carbon sequestration management; the Grown in Britain licence for ensuring provenance; the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) for chain of custody and the Soil Association Organic Standards for Woodland.

Research & Development

FR1400 A Green Government will fund innovative and targeted research, including different timber species' strengths and utility; CO2 sequestration potential, future planting needs and species suitability under climatic changes; mapping research on land areas most suited to energy creation, food growing, urban growth and conservation; planting opportunities mapping; research into organic pest control; climate change adaptation and resilience opportunities, particularly flood mitigation.

 


 

 

Changes to this chapter
 

No changes have been made since the last major update (Autumn 2017)