Written evidence submitted by Nottingham City Council (TPW0002)
1) Are the UK Government’s targets for increasing forestry coverage, and tree planting, for England and the UK sufficiently ambitious and realistic?
I feel there should be more emphasis on quality planting as opposed to quantity planting. i.e. planting larger (standard) trees would provide more eco benefit than planting whips. The Government should encourage and provide funding for Highway street planting as this is shown to increase canopy cover, improve air quality, reduce the heat island effect, flood mitigation and carbon reduction.
2) Are the right structures in place to ensure that the UK wide target for increasing forestry coverage is delivered?
It is felt that more land needs to be made available as well as funding to allow organisations and individuals to increase and sustain woodland. Incentives should be provided to land owners to help them increase and maintain their woodland instead of selling it for commercial use.
3) How effective is the co-ordination between the four nations on forestry issues, including biosecurity, plant health and other cross-border issues?
It is difficult to say as we have not had many issues that would result in working with the above
4) Why were previous ambitions for increasing tree planting in England not met and what lessons should be learned?
There needs to be a planned method for achieving these targets such as working with organisations such as Trees For Cities and giving them a target to achieve but ensuring there is sufficient land available to plant trees on and funding for ongoing maintenance. I feel the barriers to achieving the goal are a lack of land, resource and funding. There should be programmed work and projects for tree planting and at the end of each period tree planting figures should be fed back to the Government via the Woodland Trust perhaps so numbers can be recorded. The Government should provide funding for standard trees to be planted, even if this is partial funding as we are looking at public and corporate sponsorship programs.
5) In relation to increasing forestry coverage in England, what should the Government be trying to achieve? For example, how should the following policy objectives be prioritised? Priorities are placed by giving a number below with 1 being the highest priority and 7 the least.
1 - Mitigating or adapting to climate change;
2 - Promoting biodiversity and nature recovery;
5 - Increasing biosecurity and plant health;
3 - Improving human well-being and health;
6 - Protecting natural and cultural heritage;
7 - Food security;
4 - Creating commercial opportunities from forestry, tourism and recreation; and
- Any other priorities?
5) Are the right policies and funding in place to appropriately protect and manage existing woodlands in England? How will prospective changes to policy and legislation effect this?
No I don’t believe there are. There is limited funding available and when grants are provided there are too many restrictions or clauses that make it difficult to access the funding.