MPs invited to join 'crucial' discussion on tree planting

6 February 2020

New MPs have been invited to take part in crucial discussions on how to deliver the UK Government's ambitious tree planting targets - by joining the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry and Tree Planting.

The APPG meets on Tuesday February 11th to elect new office-bearers - and to discuss the key policy drivers to meet the target of 30,000 hectares of new woodland being planted annually by 2030. 

Confor CEO Stuart Goodall, who met Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith this week, said: "The political will and leadership to deliver new tree planting at scale is there - and we want a new group of forestry champions to support our efforts to get more trees in the ground. 

"We must make quick progress to tackle the climate crisis - and that means overcoming barriers to new planting as well as tackling outdated perceptions about the sector." 

Mr Goodall added: "Modern productive forestry can deliver a wide range of benefits - not just for the climate, but also for wildlife, people and the UK economy. Forestry and wood processing is worth more than £2 billion annually to the UK economy and employs around 70,000 people, but we can do much more.  

"We are still importing 80 per cent of the wood we use in the UK and we need to plant and grow more trees at home to stop exporting our forest footprint. 

"Lord Goldsmith is clearly committed to delivering on this agenda and Confor - which represents the entire forestry and wood supply chain, from tree nurseries to sawmills - will help him find the practical solutions needed to make it happen."  

Mr Goodall thanked the previous APPG office-bearers and Lord Colgrain, who has acted as temporary Chair while the new group is established.  

All MPs and members of the House of Lords are welcome to attend the APPG meeting at 1-2pm in House of Lords Committee Room G on Tuesday 11th February.