Your Councillors


Briefing Note 
Defra England Tree Strategy Public Consultation
June - September 2020 

     

 

1. Background

This consultation will inform the new England Tree Strategy which will be published later this year, setting out England’s forestry policy through to 2050, and replacing the Government 2013 Forestry Policy Statement.

The England Tree Strategy will set out priority policies to deliver England’s portion of the UK’s tree planting programme and will focus on expanding, protecting and improving woodlands, exploring how trees and woodlands can connect people to nature, support the economy, combat climate change and recover biodiversity. The strategy will ensure that trees are established and managed for the many benefits and ecosystem services they provide for people, the economy, the climate and nature.

The Government has several ambitions on expanding tree cover which are addressed within the England Tree Strategy:

-   The government’s manifesto committed to increase tree planting across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by 2025.

-   The government’s 25-Year Environment Plan commitment to increase woodland cover in England from 10% to 12% by 2060.

-   The government’s aim to create a national Nature Recovery Network (NRN), creating or restoring 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat to support a coherent, national ecological network, linking and restoring designated sites which are currently protected.

Commercial forestry is a devolved matter, the government is working with the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to determine how best to achieve its manifesto commitments, which will require collective effort across government, stakeholder groups and land managers, as well as building the capacity of the nursery sector and increasing the size of the forestry workforce.

In the March 2020 budget, Government announced a £640million ‘Nature for Climate Fund’, which will provide funding for tree planting - paying public money for public goods. The England Tree Strategy will set out how elements of this Fund will be used.

The consultation is split into four sections as outlined below –

1. Expanding and connecting trees and woodland:

-   Establishing more trees and woodlands and ensuring they are resilient to our future climate, pests and diseases

-   Addressing barriers to woodland creation

-   Creating space for nature

 

2. Protecting and improving our trees and woodland:

-   Protecting our trees and woodlands

-   Managing woods to recover biodiversity and increase resilience

-   Developing our domestic nursery capacity

 

3. Engaging people with trees and woodland:

-   Increasing access to trees in and around towns and cities

-   Education and engagement with woodlands

-   Enabling investment in and protection of green infrastructure

 

4. Supporting the economy:

-   Diversifying rural economies

-   Enabling agro and energy forestry

-   Supporting our timber industry

-   Increasing forestry skills

 

Link to consultation: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/forestry/england-tree-strategy/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Questions

Section

Question

Response

1. Expanding and connecting our trees and woodlands

6. Which actions would address the financial barriers that prevent the creation of new woodland? (select all that apply):

a)      Consolidating the current range of woodland creation grants into one

b)      Increasing the payment rates for incentives for woodland creation

c)       Widening the eligibility criteria for applicants to our woodland creation grants so more applicants can apply

d)      Widening the eligibility criteria for the type of woodlands and tree planting that can be funded

e)      Providing a clear explanation and guarantees of how trees planted between now and 2024 will be considered under Environmental land management Scheme

f)       A quicker approval process for grant agreements

g)      Support if trees fail to establish due to no fault of the owner (for example, due to tree health or severe weather)

h)      Introducing mechanisms that provide an annual cash flow in the woodlands’ early years 

i)        Introducing mechanisms to realise a secure long-term cash flow for ecosystem services

j)        Introducing measures to stimulate more private investment (e.g. green finance) in woodland creation

k)      Developing new approaches to partnerships between landowners and woodland investors or managers which enable the landowner to derive an ongoing annual income from the land

l)        Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

l) Other –

Grants policy support should be extended to natural or semi-natural regeneration.

Grant criteria should be less prescriptive and move away from high-density plantation style woodlands requiring intensive management.

Grant schemes should incentivise woodland creation in areas that maximise benefits for communities, agriculture and biodiversity such as flood plains and aquifer protection zones.

Grant schemes should be more supportive of urban and urban-edge woodland creation, which are often smaller than rural sites.  

 

7. Which of the above actions would be most effective in addressing the financial barriers that prevent the creation of new woodland? (select up to three options).

c) Widening the eligibility criteria for the type of woodlands and tree planting that can be funded.

8. Woodlands provide a range of ecosystem services that provide benefits to businesses and society. How could government better encourage private investment in establishing trees and woodland creation? (Maximum 150-word response).

Linkage to the planning system to enable woodland creation schemes which complement and balance new developments, for example -  Berry Gardens at Redwall Lane, Linton, where an application for a new commercial premise was encompassed delivery of 25 acres of new wet woodland on farmland on the floodplain of the River Beult.

A further example is an urban stretch of the River Len in Maidstone transferred to the local authority as a component of mitigation for adjacent retail and other commercial schemes. The land was restored to wet woodland and scrub - this was achieved by volunteers at no cost to the local authority and has benefited flood attenuation, amenity, air quality, water quality and biodiversity.  http://healthsustainabilityplanning.co.uk/flood-risk-reduction-river-len-kent/ .

A final example is Knoxbridge Farm, Cranbrook Road, Staplehurst where a significant area of new native woodland was delivered as part of a planning application for a new access required to facilitate changes in the agricultural business.

9. Which actions would address the non-financial barriers to the creation of new woodland? (select all that apply):

a)      Consolidating the current range of woodland creation grants into one

b)      Providing access to better information on the income streams well managed woodland can provide

c)       Providing land managers with better access to expert advice on woodland creation and forestry knowledge and skills

d)      Providing the investment community with access to expert advice on woodland creation and forestry knowledge and skills

e)      Outreach to present the benefits of trees and forestry to land managers

f)       Outreach to present the benefits of trees and forestry to the investment community

g)      Outreach to present the benefits of trees and forestry to local communities

h)      Changing policy so it does not treat afforestation as a permanent land use change

i)        Increasing availability and access to contractors to plant and maintain the trees

j)        Increasing availability of desired bio secure planting material

k)      Educate and enthuse a new generation to expand the forestry industry

l)        Developing new approaches to partnerships between landowners and woodland investors or managers which enable the landowner to retain ownership of the land

m)    Developing a supply of diverse and locally appropriate seed and planting material by supporting community tree nurseries and other small nurseries that provide UK sourced and grown trees.

n)      Providing best practice guidance on how best to achieve tree cover through natural establishment (e.g. most suitable locations, ground preparation, fencing requirements and decisions on management over time).

o)      Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.  

o) Other

Support for natural or semi-natural regeneration.

Planting criteria should be less prescriptive and move away from high-density plantation style woodlands requiring intensive management.

Policy should guide and incentivise woodland creation in areas that maximise benefits for communities, agriculture and biodiversity such as flood plains and aquifer protection zones. Such ‘focus’ would potentially ensure engagement from key sectors and landowners.

Policy should be more supportive of urban and urban-edge woodland creation, which are often smaller than rural sites but easier to progress.

 

10. Which of the above actions would be most effective in addressing the non-financial barriers to the creation of new woodland? (select up to three options).

Support for natural or semi-natural regeneration.

Planting criteria should be less prescriptive and move away from high-density plantation style woodlands requiring intensive management.

Policy should guide and incentivise woodland creation in areas that maximise benefits for communities, agriculture and biodiversity such as flood plains and aquifer protection zones. Such ‘focus’ would potentially ensure engagement from key sectors and landowners.

Policy should be more supportive of urban and urban-edge woodland creation, which are often smaller than rural sites but easier to progress.

 

11. Which actions would address the regulatory barriers that prevent the creation of new woodland? (select all that apply):

a)      Providing access to better guidance on how to meet the UK Forestry Standard

b)      Local partners agreeing and setting priorities for woodland creation and other habitat restoration across landscapes

c)       Enabling regulatory decisions by the Forestry Commission which reflect the national obligation to meet net zero emissions by 2050 and achieve the investment in natural capital set out in our 25 Year Environment Plan

d)      Implementing a joint approach to land management across central government and its agencies including those responsible for protected landscapes

e)      Providing a clear explanation and guarantees of how trees planted between now and 2024 will be considered under Environmental Land Management Scheme

f)       Reduce the time and costs associated with Environmental Impact Assessment for afforestation.

g)      Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

g) Other 

Policy support and encouragement of natural or semi-natural regeneration.

Policy criteria should be less prescriptive and move away from high-density plantation style woodlands requiring intensive management.

Policy should support and incentivise woodland creation in areas that maximise benefits for communities, agriculture and biodiversity such as flood plains and aquifer protection zones.

Policy should encourage and support urban and urban-edge woodland creation, which are often smaller than rural sites but bring significant local benefits.  

 

12. Which of the above actions would be most effective in addressing the regulatory barriers that prevent the creation of new woodland? (select up to three options).

g) Other 

Policy support and encouragement of natural or semi-natural regeneration.

Policy criteria should be less prescriptive and move away from high-density plantation style woodlands requiring intensive management.

Policy should support and incentivise woodland creation in areas that maximise benefits for communities, agriculture and biodiversity such as flood plains and aquifer protection zones.

Policy should encourage and support urban and urban-edge woodland creation, which are often smaller than rural sites but bring significant local benefits.  

 

13. How can we most effectively support the natural establishment of trees and woodland in the landscape? (Maximum 100 words).

The natural climax vegetation across all but the wettest lowland and exposed upland areas of the British Isles is woodland. If grazing pressure is reduced trees will return.  Grazing by sheep is the most destructive of natural tree regeneration but continues to be subsidised. In some areas where high deer densities occur, fencing may be required, however a more optimal approach is reintroduction of natural predators, such as Eurasian lynx, which regulate populations of these herbivores and modify their behaviour.

Policy and grant criteria should support natural establishment of new woodland, scrub, wood pasture and other structurally complex sylvan habitats.

14. Are there any other actions - beyond the options you have already selected or submitted - that would help landowners and managers to transform the level of woodland creation and increase the number of non-woodland trees in England? (Maximum 100 words).

National / local policy should enforce better regulation and routing (trunking) of new and existing (retro-fitting) of underground services, thus enabling enable increased and replacement street tree planting.

Hedgerow tree and shelterbelt retention and introduction should be supported by a range of measures including identification and protection of future hedgerow trees from hedge-cutting / flailing interventions.

Street tree planting and care should be made a statutory highway authority function and funded appropriately – encompassing a duty to replace street trees lost to whatever cause.

Policy, grants to landowners and planning system should drive better protection of existing trees and woodland, their expansion and linkage (including wood pasture, hedgerow trees and scrub).

Grants should specifically incentivise introduction of trees and woodland into floodplains, aquifer protection zones and urban / peri-urban areas to maximise benefits.

15. Which of the following actions would be most effective in helping expand woodland creation in locations which deliver water, flood risk benefits and nature recovery? (select up to three options):

a)      Widening the eligibility criteria for woodland creation grants so more applicants can apply, and more forms of woodland are eligible

b)      Widening the eligibility criteria for woodland creation grants so more sizes of woodland are eligible

c)       Increasing grant payments for tree planting along water courses, steep sided slopes and difficult sites

d)      Quicker approval process for grant agreements 

e)      Providing a clear explanation and guarantees of how trees planted between now and 2024 will be considered under Environmental Land Management

f)       Implementing a joint approach to land management across government, including authorities responsible for protected landscapes 

g)      Providing better access to advice and guidance on woodland creation, forestry expertise and training  -- Please Select

h)      Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

h)

Using both the planning system and agricultural payments to disincentivise development and intensive cropping on flood plains and upland catchments and incentivising woodland and other sylvan habitats.

Use the NPPF, Local Plans and other relevant policy documents to ‘zone’ floodplains, catchments and other sensitive landscapes for woodland and other sylvan habitat creation.

Place a duty on public landowners to protect and expand woodland and other sylvan habitats on land under their control located within flood plains, catchments, urban / peri-urban and other sensitive landscapes.

 

16. What role could the nation’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) play in increasing woodland cover? (Maximum 100-word response).

If grazing pressure is reduced trees will return.  Grazing by sheep is the most destructive of natural tree regeneration, however, deer can be an issue in some parts of the country and fencing or predator re-introduction will be required.

Protected landscapes should promote and facilitate more complex habitat types – such as mosaics of woodland, wood pasture, carr and scrub within protected landscapes. There is currently a significant focus on treeless landscapes such as heather, acid, grazing marsh and chalk grassland and all these habitats benefit from proximity to areas of structurally complex tree cover.

 

2. Protecting and improving our trees and woodland

17. Which actions would be most effective to increase protection for trees and woodland from unsustainable management? (select a maximum of three options):

a)      Introducing measures to support compliance with the UK Forestry Standard 

b)      More effective information sharing between government departments and their delivery bodies to inform decisions impacting on woodland, including to prevent woodland loss 

c)       Introducing clearer processes for licencing tree felling, with felling licences that can be suspended, withdrawn or superseded

d)      Greater penalties for non-compliance with the requirements of the Forestry Act 

e)      Powers to set wider felling licence conditions, for example to enable enforcement of compliance with the UK Forestry Standard

f)       A clearer policy presumption that all trees felled without a licence will be replaced (except in exceptional circumstances) 

g)      Refining the process of making Tree Preservation Orders, and clarifying the criteria to improve consistency in application of the policy across local authorities

h)      Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

h) Other

Incentivise expansion and re-connection of existing woodlands and wood pasture, creation of better structured woodland edge, and open space within woodlands through planning system and ELMs.

 

18. Which actions would best help the planning system support better protection and enhancement of the ancient and wider woodland environment and trees? (select a maximum of two options).

a)      Providing support to fully complete revision of the Ancient Woodland Inventory (to include ancient woodlands under two hectares in area)

b)      Commissioning research into effective size and use of buffer zones around woodland for different impacts

c)       Providing better monitoring and recording of decisions on planning applications affecting ancient woodland

d)      Sharing best practice guidance and training to support implementation of National Planning Policy Framework policy on ancient woodland with local authority planners

e)      Encouraging more woodland to be brought into management where impacted by development

f)       More effective information sharing between agencies and local planning authorities to inform decision making impacting on woodland including to prevent woodland loss

g)      Refining the process of making Tree Preservation Orders, and clarifying the criteria to improve consistency in application of the policy across local authorities

h)      Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

i)        Other

Greater planning policy protection for secondary woodland (in addition to that guidance contained within the NPPF relating to semi-natural ancient woodland).

Use planning guidance to incentivise the protection, buffering and connection of existing woodland on (and adjacent to) development sites through master planning, LEMPs, and conditions. 

19. What actions would be most effective in reducing the use of plastics in forestry? (select one option):

a)      Providing support to land managers for deer control and fencing

b)      Supporting further testing and trial of non-plastic alternatives such as tree guards

c)       Introducing stronger control on the recovery and disposal of plastics in grant agreements and public sector contracts 

d)      Promoting the use of non-plastic tree guards

e)      Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

e) Other – Increase incentives for natural regeneration where thorn and scrub will protect saplings and developing woodland.

20. Which actions would overcome financial barriers to woodland management? (select all that apply):

a)      Providing better information on timber prices, grant schemes and market opportunities for wood and non-wood products

b)      Providing grant support for a wider range of management activities

c)       Providing grant support for the restoration of Plantations on Ancient Woodlands Sites (PAWS)

d)      Providing support for woodland infrastructure such as roading

e)      Providing grants or loans for equipment, for example, harvesters

f)       Support to increase the productivity/supply chains for woodland products 

g)      Support for landowner collaboration in woodland management  

h)      Government requiring more domestic timber through procurement policies 

i)        Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

I)

Ensure that environmental services (such as aquifer recharge, flood attenuation, watercourse quality, soil protection, air quality, landscape and biodiversity) and amenity value are factored into financial and management equation. Cropping for timber and other material and associated significant forestry interventions do not necessarily benefit delivery of environmental services and amenity.  Woods are much more than just forestry.

21. Which of the above actions would be most effective at overcoming the financial barriers to woodland management? (select a maximum of three options).

I)

Ensure that environmental services (such as aquifer recharge, flood attenuation, watercourse quality, soil protection, air quality, landscape and biodiversity) and amenity value are factored into financial and management equation. Cropping for timber and other material and associated significant forestry interventions do not necessarily benefit delivery of environmental services and amenity.  Woods are much more than just forestry.

22. Which actions would address the non-financial barriers to woodland management? (select all that apply):

a)      Providing user friendly woodland management services aimed at ‘non forester’ woodland owners 

b)      Ensuring public recognition of woodlands that are managed sustainably (for example like Green Flag awards ) 

c)       Providing better communication of the benefits and need for woodland management with land managers and investors 

d)      Providing better information on timber prices, grant schemes and market opportunities for wood and non-wood products 

e)      Training to increase the forestry skills capacity in agricultural workers  

f)       Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

f)

A far greater emphasis within forestry guidance and planning system upon optimal woodland management interventions to enhance delivery of environmental services, biodiversity and landscape.

23. Which of the above actions would be most effective at overcoming the non-financial barriers to woodland management? (select a maximum of three options).

f)

A far greater emphasis within forestry guidance and planning system upon optimal woodland management interventions to enhance delivery of environmental services, biodiversity and landscape.

24. Which actions would overcome the regulatory barriers to woodland management? (select all that apply):

a)      Streamlining delivery of current regulations (for example, self-service felling licences for tree felling proposals that would not reduce woodland cover)

b)      Placing responsibility for complying with woodland regulation on the woodland manager rather than the woodland owner

c)       Placing a legal obligation on all landowners to manage their woodland

d)      Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

e)      Other

 

Coppicing and other smaller-scale interventions to maintain rides, glades and well-structured woodland edges should be exempt from felling licences.

25. Which of the above actions would be most effective at overcoming the regulatory barriers to woodland management? (select one option).

f)       Other

 

Coppicing and other smaller-scale interventions to maintain rides, glades and well-structured woodland edges should be exempt from felling licences.

26. If you own and/or manage woodland(s) that is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) what actions would help you most to bring that woodland(s) into management? (Maximum 100-word response).

Coppicing and other smaller-scale interventions to maintain rides, glades and well-structured woodland edges should be exempt from felling licences.

27. Which of the following actions would be most effective in improving plant biosecurity across England’s trees and woodlands? (pick a maximum of two):

a)      Increasing the number of nurseries that meet the ‘Plant healthy’ management standard 

b)      Providing better best practice guidance and information about biosecurity 

c)       Introducing conditions to public sector contracts and government tree planting or restocking grants that require suppliers to meet the ‘Plant healthy’ management standard 

d)      Amending planning policy to encourage local planning authorities to source trees from suppliers who meet the ‘Plant healthy’ management standard

e)      Sharing the Forestry England’s experience and case studies

f)       Managing the impact of invasive non-native plants which provide a pathway for disease through targeted action, ongoing management and monitoring, and wider education 

g)      Developing a supply of diverse and locally appropriate seed and planting material by supporting community tree nurseries and other small nurseries that provide UK sourced and grown trees. 

h)      Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

h)

Incentivise and provide policy support for natural regeneration, wood pasture and low stocking density ‘framework planting’..  

28. Which of the following actions are or would be most appropriate for England’s trees and woodlands to contribute to climate change mitigation and helping to achieve net zero? (pick a maximum of three options):

a)      Bringing woods into management to enhance their future resilience to climate change and secure greenhouse gas emissions reduction in other sectors through wood replacing ‘carbon intensive’ materials (acknowledging that this will lead to a short to medium reduction on carbon stored in the woodland)

b)      Planting UKFS-compliant productive forests to provide a strong carbon sink over the coming decades and then a source of sustainable timber to meet the needs of future generations 

c)       Planting predominantly native woodland to act as a long-term store of carbon

d)      Establishing ‘energy forest’ plantations (short rotation coppice and short rotation forestry) to satisfy future biomass demand for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage 

e)      Encouraging agroforestry to increase the amount of carbon stored on productive farmland 

f)       Strengthening the protection of all woodland to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation.

 

29. Which of these actions would be most effective in reducing damage to trees and woodlands caused by deer? (select a maximum of two options):

a)      Develop a national policy on sustainable deer management and control measures 

b)      Facilitate landscape scale control by land managers

c)       Deer control as a requirement of grant or felling agreements 

d)      Incentives for the management of deer 

e)      Supporting a range of approaches to tree protection, including fencing and other alternatives to plastic tree guards 

f)       Better advice and guidance on the value of and options to control damage by deer

g)      Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

h)       

Restoration of predators, such as Eurasian lynx, to landscape to ensure more sustainable deer populations and behaviours.

 

30. Which of these actions would be most effective in reducing the damage to trees and woodlands caused by grey squirrels? (select a maximum of two options):

a)      Making grey squirrel control a requirement of grant or felling agreements 

b)      Providing incentives for the management of grey squirrel 

c)       Researching contraception to prevent breeding 

d)      Reintroducing animals to help control squirrels, such as pine martens and goshawks 

e)      Providing better advice and guidance on grey squirrel control 

f)       Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

f)

Aside from those geographical areas where red squirrel populations or their recovery are compromised by the presence of greys there is little if any landscape, ecological or economic negative impact arising from this species. Indeed, natural regeneration of woodland, suppression of invasive sycamore, native predators and invertebrate habitat niches creation can all benefit from their presence.

 

3. Engaging people with trees and woodland

31. Are any of the following significant barriers to securing and maintaining street trees? (select up to three options):

a)      Appropriate standards and guidance for securing the right trees in the right places

b)      Practical challenges in terms of street design, planting requirements and compatibility with other infrastructure provision

c)       The adoption of street trees by local highway authorities, or alternative arrangements where streets are not adopted

d)      The skills and resources needed to deliver new street trees, including funding for planting 

e)      The funding and skills for ongoing maintenance of street trees over their lifetime 

f)       Other – please specify in no more than 100 words.

f)

Lack of budget to enable appropriate replacement and care of street trees.

Years of poorly planned and managed routing of under and over-ground services sterilise the majority of urban highways and verges. Trunking of new services and retro-trunking of existing services will be required if a renaissance of street trees is to be achieved.

32. How could government overcome the barriers to securing and maintaining street trees you have identified in question 31? (Maximum 100-word response).

Ring-fence funding for and make statutory protection and replacement of street trees, alongside better regulation of underground services to ensure trunking and free-up space for tree planting.

33. Which of these actions would be most effective in increasing the number/coverage of trees in and around urban areas? (rank the following options in order of preference):

a)      Promotion through national policy (including England Tree Strategy and national planning policy) including recognition that trees and woodlands are key components of green infrastructure, with equal status to other green and built infrastructure

b)      Promotion through national guidance (such as green infrastructure, planning and design, and code/street guidance, e.g., Manual for Streets) - stronger inclusion of appropriate engineering solutions

c)       Development and implementation of Local Tree and Woodland Strategies and local planning policies - setting local targets for tree canopy cover and recognition that trees and woodlands are key components of green infrastructure, with equal status to other green and built infrastructure

d)      Training for practitioners, including highways engineers and others 

e)      Providing better support for community forests in areas of greatest need

f)       Creating new community forests in areas of greatest need 

g)      Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

1.     Statutory requirement to replace street trees and protect all urban woodland

2.      Promotion through national guidance (such as green infrastructure, planning and design, and code/street guidance, e.g., Manual for Streets) - stronger inclusion of appropriate engineering solutions

3.   Development and implementation of Local Tree and Woodland Strategies and local planning policies - setting local targets for tree canopy cover and recognition that trees and woodlands are key components of green infrastructure, with equal status to other green and built infrastructure

4.    Creating new community forests in areas of greatest need 

5.     Training for practitioners, including highways engineers and others 

6.     Promotion through national policy (including England Tree Strategy and national planning policy) including recognition that trees and woodlands are key components of green infrastructure, with equal status to other green and built infrastructure

7.     Training for practitioners, including highways engineers and others 

8.      Providing better support for community forests in areas of greatest need

9.    

 

34. Which actions would most help the preparation and implementation of local Tree and Woodland Strategies? (rank the following options in order of preference):

a)      Preparing national guidance on developing Local Tree and Woodland Strategies 

b)      Setting local targets for tree canopy cover 

c)       Using canopy cover as a measure to monitor the scale and development of the urban forest

d)      Agreeing national data standards for urban trees

e)      Standardising the approach to measuring the value of the urban forest resource

f)       Adopting Local Tree and Woodland Strategies as supplementary planning documents 

g)      Strengthening technical expertise in tree and woodland management in local authorities

h)      Recognising trees and woodlands as key components of green infrastructure, with equal status to green and built infrastructure.

1.     Adopting Local Tree and Woodland Strategies as supplementary planning documents 

2.     Setting local targets for tree canopy cover

3.     Using canopy cover as a measure to monitor the scale and development of the urban forest

4.     Strengthening technical expertise in tree and woodland management in local authorities

5.     Agreeing national data standards for urban trees

6.     Preparing national guidance on developing Local Tree and Woodland Strategies 

7.   Standardising the approach to measuring the value of the urban forest resource

8.     Recognising trees and woodlands as key components of green infrastructure, with equal status to green and built infrastructure.

35. Which actions would most effectively engage people in the management and creation of their local woodlands? (rank the following options in order of preference):

a)      Providing more training opportunities to support woodland management and creation 

b)      Providing legal support to community groups for the acquisition or lease of woodland 

c)       Enabling community groups to influence decision making about the management of their local woodland 

d)      Enabling community groups to participate in the management of their local woodland 

e)      Facilitating networks to exchange ideas and share good practice

f)       Providing better support for community forests in areas of greatest need

g)      Creating new community forests in areas of greatest need

h)      Supporting the growth of woodland social enterprise in and around towns and cities.

1.    Creating new community forests in areas of greatest need

2.     Providing better support for community forests in areas of greatest need

3.     Supporting the growth of woodland social enterprise in and around towns and cities

4.     Providing legal support to community groups for the acquisition or lease of woodland 

5.     Providing more training opportunities to support woodland management and creation 

6.     Supporting the growth of woodland social enterprise in and around towns and cities.

7.     Enabling community groups to influence decision making about the management of their local woodland 

8.     Enabling community groups to participate in the management of their local woodland 

 

 

36. Which actions by government would be most effective in addressing barriers to peoples’ access to trees and woodlands? (rank the following options in order of preference):

a)      Supporting woodland access through existing incentives and rights of way

b)      Offering more generous woodland management incentives for those woodlands with public access 

c)       Creating new accessible woodlands in and around towns and cities 

d)      Supporting woodland access with bespoke incentives, simply to allow access

e)      Improving the quality of access by investing in infrastructure (car parks, trails, path surfacing, signage, seating)

f)       Regulating to maintain access rights when creating new woodland

g)      Supporting people to become trained/accredited to better facilitate contact (learning and health) with nature.

1.     Creating new accessible woodlands in and around towns and cities

2.     Supporting woodland access through existing incentives and rights of way

3.     Supporting people to become trained/accredited to better facilitate contact (learning and health) with nature.

4.     Regulating to maintain access rights when creating new woodland

5.     Supporting woodland access with bespoke incentives, simply to allow access

6.     Improving the quality of access by investing in infrastructure (car parks, trails, path surfacing, signage, seating)

7.     Offering more generous woodland management incentives for those woodlands with public access 

 

 

37. Which of the following do you most value about trees and woodland? (select up to two options):

a)      Places to exercise and relax and engage with nature

b)      Places for nature 

c)       A source of sustainable products and employment 

d)      A resource that provides water management 

e)      A resource that cleans the air 

f)       A resource that stores carbon 

g)      As a feature within towns and cities

h)      As part of urban green space 

i)        Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

1.   Places for nature 

2.   A resource that provides water management 

3.   A resource that cleans the air 

4.   A resource that stores carbon 

5.   Places to exercise and relax and engage with nature

6.   As part of urban green space 

7.   As a feature within towns and cities

8.   A source of sustainable products and employment 

 

 

38. Which of these actions would best address the funding challenge for the planting and on-going maintenance of trees in urban areas? (pick up to two options):

a)      Making central funding available to supplement private finance for establishing trees in existing developments. 

b)      Using planning levers to require developers to plant trees relating to new development on streets and other public spaces 

c)       Using planning levers to raise funds for on-going maintenance 

d)      Ensuring the value of tree’s longer-term benefits are captured to access financing 

e)      Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

b)    Using planning levers to require developers to plant trees relating to new development on streets and other public spaces

e) Introducing statutory duty upon public local authorities to replace and maintain street and other trees removed for safety or other reasons.

 

 

4. Supporting the economy

39. What could the England Tree Strategy do to encourage the use of timber in construction? (select up to two options):

a)      Improving, encouraging or incentivising the growth of necessary skills such as those in green construction, design or forestry 

b)      Promoting and incentivising Grown in Britain Certification 

c)       Encouraging planning requirements to incorporate sustainable materials 

d)      Amending public procurement standards to support Grown in Britain certified forest products, incorporate sustainable materials and signal long-term demand 

e)      Increasing the availability of knowledge and stimulate an understanding of sustainable building practices 

f)       Supporting new innovations in developing timber building materials such as cross laminated timber 

g)      Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

 

40.How could policy about the permanency of woodlands better support tree establishment for agro forestry or energy crops? (select one option):

a)      Changing policy so it does not treat afforestation as a permanent land use change

b)      Adjusting policy so energy forestry crops (short rotation coppice and short rotation forestry) are not permanent land use change

c)       Retaining the current position whereby afforestation is generally a permanent land use change  

d)      Not sure.

 

41. Which actions would best increase the uptake of energy forestry? (select up to two options):

a)      Providing financial support for the capital costs of energy forestry 

b)      Clarifying the taxation of energy forestry (as either agriculture or forestry)

c)       Clarifying the regulatory position for energy forestry (for example, can I change land use in the future) 

d)      Providing support to develop a secure supply chain (such as forward contracts for feedstock) 

e)      Providing better advice and guidance on energy forestry

f)       Increasing skills capacity in energy forestry 

g)      Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

 

42. Which actions would best increase the planting of more trees on farms? (select up to two options):

a)      Clarifying the regulation of agroforestry as either agriculture or forestry

b)      Clarifying the implications for the land holding's tax status of planting more trees 

c)       Providing better advice and guidance on woodland creation and management

d)      Providing incentives for a wider range of tree planting on farms

e)      Funding for the advice and the design of schemes for trees on farms and agroforestry 

f)       Providing better advice and guidance on how woodland creation and management can contribute to farm business models 

g)      Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

 

43. Which actions would best increase agroforestry, woodland creation and management on tenanted farmland? (select up to two options):

a)      Providing industry led guidance, best practice and case studies of how tenants and landlords can work together to deliver benefits for both parties from diversification into tree planting and agroforestry on tenanted land 

b)      Providing eligibility criteria for tree establishment grant agreements to discourage the proactive resumption of tenanted farmland 

c)       Reviewing how tenancy agreements approach the responsibility for and rights to trees 

d)      Confirming the property rights to long-term carbon benefits

e)      Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

 

44. What are the most urgent shortages in the workforce capacity needed to increase woodland creation, maintenance and management? (select up to two options):

a)      Professional forester 

b)      Supervisor for forest works

c)       Machine operator, for example, tractor/harvester/forwarder drivers

d)      Hand cutter / chainsaw operator

e)      Tree planter 

f)       Tree nursery workers 

g)      Forestry educators 

h)      Land agents, surveyors and architects with specialist forest knowledge

i)        All of the above 

j)        Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

j. Local authority tree officers.

45. Which actions would best strengthen productivity in forestry supply chains? (select up to three options):

a)      Providing grant support for a wider range of management options

b)      Providing support for woodland infrastructure such as roading

c)       Providing grant or loans for equipment (for example, harvesters) 

d)      Providing support for productivity/supply chains for woodland products 

e)      Providing better information on market prices and opportunities 

f)       Training to increase the skills capacity in agricultural workers 

g)      Facilitating collaborative working between woodland owners

h)      Developing options for private investment for ecosystem services that drive woodland management 

i)        Other - please specify in no more than 25 words.

 

3. Contact

Tree.Strategy.Consultation@defra.gov.uk

4. Author

 

 Tony Harwood (chair Maidstone Borough Council Biodiversity and Climate Change Working Group)

 July 2020