Have your say on the funding framework for forestry in England

24 June 2020

The government’s consultation on Environmental Land Management (ELM) has now reopened for responses until Friday 31st July.

Westminster has released proposals that set out the initial thinking on the design of the new ELM scheme for funding for farming and land management, which will replace the Common Agricultural Policy. It does not intend to set out the detailed delivery arrangements for ELM. The responses from stakeholders will help to inform the detailed scheme design policy for both the national pilot (due to start in late 2021) and for the start of the full ELM scheme in 2024. We anticipate that there will be a full consultation on the detailed scheme design at a later date.

We are reopening the ELM Policy Discussion Document (PDD) on CitizenSpace on Wednesday 24th June. It will remain open for responses until Friday 31st July.  The document can be found here: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/elm/elmpolicyconsultation/

The proposals are based on three tiers:

  • Tier 1: encouraging sustainable practices amongst all land managers.
  • Tier 2: delivering locally-appropriate environmental outcomes.
  • Tier 3: delivering transformational land-use change

You can read the full policy document here.

The consultation, which can be found here is now open until Friday 31st July.

Confor will be responding to the consultation and we will circulate our response to members. Confor will have a draft response ready for member comment by 20 July. 

Members are also encouraged to submit their own responses. Important points to make could include: 

  • A recognition that production is not just about food.
  • Recognition of the UK Forestry Standard as a level of sustainable practice
  • Recognition of the UK Woodland Assurance Standard as independently-audited sustainable forest management and the Grown in Britain Chain of Custody Standard
  • A level playing field for all land uses, with integrated land use encouraged
  • A recognition of the importance of active woodland management
  • A recognition of the work done by landowners to maintain good plant health
  • Substantial support for a transformational increase in woodland creation for multiple benefits

The forestry sector’s joint position statement on Environmental Land Management, and Confor’s response to the Health and Harmony Consultation (May 2018) provide more detail on many of these issues. 

Environmental Land Management is part of a wider government strategy for the countryside, including aspects such as plant health, regulatory culture, and the transition from existing farm subsidies. These proposals can be found here

If you respond to the consultation, please let Caroline Ayre know (caroline@confor.org.uk). Please also contact Caroline if you have any questions about ELM.

In addition, Defra will also be running interactive online webinars for farmers and land managers to discuss what our proposals mean for them.  These will be held on the following dates: 

  • Wednesday, 1st July – 12:00-1:30 pm 
  • Tuesday, 7th July – 6:00-7:30 pm 
  • Thursday, 16th July – 8:30-10:00 am 
  • Thursday, 23rd July – 12:00-1:30 pm 
  • Tuesday, 28th July – 8:30-10:00 am  
  • Thursday, 30th July - 6:00-7:30 pm

The webinars are targeted at farmers, foresters and land managers in England only. They can register through this link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/elm-policy-discussion-document-webinars-tickets-109605757772