UK: Government & Forest advocates unite to write a five-year action plan

The Forestry Commission and Natural England have joined forces with
more than 100 organizations, representing woodland owners, forestry
businesses, conservation and local communities to create a new
five-year action plan for trees and woodlands in England. A press
release from the Forestry Commission said that the ultimate goal of
the new partnership was to deliver a healthier landscape for wildlife
and an increase in people visiting woodlands for leisure and tourism
by 2020. The local environment and local communities will be improved
with more, high-quality, wooded greenspace close to where people live
and a revival of trees in our streets.

It added that the management of
the both small, private woods and large commercial forestry will
provide greater use of home-grown wood in construction and woodfuel,
Speaking at the launch of the scheme, Forestry Minister Huw
Irranca-Davies said: “There are more than a million hectares of
woodland and forest in England today. “Trees make a big difference to
people’s quality of life and wellbeing, improving the places where we
live, work and play. “People need to be able to get involved in
planning, managing and looking after their local woodlands and trees,
and the plan launched today will help us to make the most of our trees
to combat climate change, protect wildlife, and yield other social,
economic and environmental benefits.” Forestry Commission chairman
Lord Clark of Windermere added: “These are important and exciting
times for trees, woods and forests in England as they face the
challenges of climate change while providing a range of benefits to
people, wildlife and to our economy.

He went on to say: “This new plan
is testament to those people representing landowners, businesses,
communities, local councils and government who worked together to
secure the future for our trees, woods and forests.” Sir Martin
Doughty, chairman of Natural England, acknowledged the crucial role
that trees played in ecological and economic terms, as well as adding
to people’s quality of life. “These benefits are increasingly being
recognised, but they can only be secured through careful long term
planning and co-ordinated action,” he said. “Today’s Delivery Plan has
been created through working closely with a wide range of
organisations and local communities and marks a major step forward in
securing a sustainable future for our woodlands.”

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