New Chair of All-Party Group on Forestry
13 February 2020
Ben Lake MP has been elected as Chair of the new All-Party Parliamentary Group on Forestry and Tree Planting.
The group has been formed for the new parliamentary term with a particular focus on the actions needed to meet the UK Government's ambitious planting target of 30,000 hectares per year by 2025 [the target date was clarified in February on an update to the Defra website here.]
Mr Lake, Plaid Cymru MP for Ceredigion, is supported by Drew Hendy MP (SNP) as Vice-Chair, with other Vice-Chairs from the House of Lords - former Labour Cabinet Minister Lord (David) Clark, a long-standing supporter of forestry, and Conservative peers Lord Colgrain and Lord Caithness, plus cross-bencher Lord Carrington. Several other Lords and MPs have joined the group.
Stuart Goodall, CEO of Confor, said: "I'm delighted to have Ben on board. Wales is an important area for forestry and wood processing, but we need to drive up planting rates significantly to provide the timber the industry needs - and to tackle our climate change ambitions.
"I look forward to working with Ben and the rest of the group as we identify the specific actions needed to deliver planting across the UK."
Ben Lake's constituency includes family-owned sawmill and timber business James Davies Ltd, a Confor member.
Ben Lake was the youngest MP when elected to Westminster in 2017, aged 24. Now 27, he is still the youngest MP in Wales.
Picture: APPGF members (L-R) Lord Carrington, Lord Caithness, Lord Colgrain and Ben Lake MP with Stuart Godall, Confor CEO (right).