Response to the England Tree Strategy Consultation

I’ve been writing a response to this year’s England Tree Strategy Consultation. This is the essentially the final draft, which I will submit before the deadline on the 11th:  TreeStrategy2020Response.pdf

I focus on three problems with the planning system and the the new firewood regulations:

  • Consistent national guidelines for the minimum size of sheds, barns etc which will be viewed as reasonably necessary for forestry.
  • Processing wood into finished products should be classed within the definition of forestry, when using wood from the same woodland.
  • Woodland-based education should be classed as forestry.
  • The legal requirement to join the Woodsure auditing scheme at the cost of hundreds of pounds a year will wipe out any profit for many small woodland owners.

If you’ve read my pieces “The long tail of forestry” and  “Regulating wet firewood” you will be familiar with the background to these proposals. We shall see if the message is picked up in the consultation.

4 Replies to “Response to the England Tree Strategy Consultation”

  1. Bang On. Good job Iain.
    Very helpful to see your thoughts.
    Couple of things I would consider to add would be:
    Those carrying out work to manage and add value to said woodland produce (i.e. actively engaged in site-specific woodland management) should be able to live on site in forestry tied abodes, and in policy an amendment to agricultural planning should be extended to forestry land uses or active management plan to restrict prospecting on land-value tied to property development.
    Also the issue of planting woodlands without ongoing management plans seems to be critical given the favourable condition for planting schemes, without the recognition of the need for ongoing woodland management.

    1. Thanks Doug. I did think about mentioning living in woodland that you work, but I wanted to keep it down to three points to keep it short. Are you going to put a response in?

      1. Yes I have put a response in. I wan’t sure how to add specific comments as the response form was so limited to the crafted suggestions & letter limits.

        i’m thinking more and more that forestry tied dwellings (with active and approved management plans) make a lot of sense. I always tag it on the end of my recommendations as it feels like the prejudice against this is so pervasive.
        I don’t think I’m a slow worker – but my goodness there are never enough hours in the day!

  2. Good work Iain. I also agree with Doug’s point about that old chestnut of being allowed to construct overnight accomodation in the wood, provided of course there is active and regular forestry work undertaken on consecutive days. This is important to small forestry operations apart from the obvious benefits of extending working days and reducing overheads – there is also the vital point of protecting plant and equipment that otherwise has to be removed and returned daily, also reducing productivity. With the police barely bothering to register rural thefts from farms and woodlands let alone investigate and recover property, the need to remain on site overnight is become a necessity, not a privilege, and certainly not always a pleasure.

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