Forestry must capitalise on high profile

6 March 2017

Forestry policy has its highest profile for a generation and the industry must work hard to ensure inquiries in England, Scotland and now Wales make a real difference, according to Confor’s Chief Executive.

Stuart Goodall welcomed the renewed focus on forestry in the Welsh Assembly after the The Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee announced its inquiry into forestry and woodland policy in Wales.

In England, the EFRA (Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) Committee is due to report soon after taking evidence from witnesses, including Mr Goodall. Confor also worked with members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry (APPGF) to secure a high-quality, well-attended Westminster Hall debate.

In Scotland, the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee has made forestry a priority, with Mr Goodall already giving evidence about funding the sector and its ability to reduce the impact of climate change. He is due to give evidence again about Brexit later this month, while a new Forestry Bill will be laid before the Scottish Parliament this summer.

In Wales, the inquiry will look at the Welsh Government’s delivery of its Woodlands for Wales strategy and to assess it against four central themes: responding to climate change; woodlands for people; a competitive and integrated forest sector and environmental quality.