Forestry Commission                            DEF0058

Written evidence submitted by the Forestry Commission


Forestry Commission responses to EAC requests for clarification and further information


Question 1: What is Forestry England’s target for planting new woodland by 2026? Sir William said 2400 hectares in the oral evidence session. This is corroborated by FE’s annual report and accounts 2021-22 (page 5). However the ‘Growing the Future’ strategy says ‘at least 2000’ (page 17).


Response: The annual report was correct at the time of publication. We have since revised our targets in response market conditions and having now tested the levels of interest in the leasehold offer. The revised target is for at least 2000ha’s as stated in Growing the Future.



Question 2: Does the Forestry England target of 2400 ha by 2026 refer only to planting on leasehold land?

Response: The target is for all woodland creation, which will primarily be a combination of leasehold, freehold acquisition and some planting on suitable land that we own.



Question 3: How many hectares of new woodland have so far been planted against the target of 2400 ha by 2026?

Response: We have planted 303 ha.



Question 4: Sir William referred to a leasing scheme with local authorities and the private sector. Was he referring to the Forestry England Woodland Partnership?

Response: Yes, he was referring to the Forestry England Woodland Partnership.



Question 5: When did Forestry England Woodland Partnership scheme begin?

Response: The Forestry England Woodland Partnership scheme began in 2021.



Question 6: How many Forestry England Woodland Partnership scheme applications have been received and how many partnerships have so far been entered into? What is the split between local authorities and private landowners?

Response: Under the Woodland Partnership scheme we have had over 20 applications and entered 2 lease agreements, both of which are with public organisations. We are negotiating further leases, one with a private landowner and one with a corporate organisation. We are also in negotiations with another public body on a lease arrangement which predates the Woodland Partnership scheme.



Question 7: How many hectares of new woodland have been planted under this scheme so far, and/or are predicted to be planted under the scheme by 2026?

Forestry Commission                            DEF0058

Response: 185 ha have been planted under the Woodland Partnership scheme. The target is to plant by 1640 ha by March 2026. N.B. NCF Woodland Partnership funding is committed until March 2025, funding after this is currently still to be confirmed.



June 2023