The essential tool for any new planting of trees and increasing woodland cover must include an ecological approach. By this I mean planting native trees, in the right locations which benefit people and nature. A forward thinking plan can improve long term economy and ecology. New planting should be for the long term, with no clear felling in cycles for purely timber production but a more managed approach to maintaining woodland cover and wildlife value in continuity. In addition woodlands are structural ecosystems and with good ecological practice, canopy, shrub and field layer must be understood as all having high ecological and commercial value for people and wildlife. All new woodlands should include understorey shrub plantings in addition to tree plantings, mimicking the way natural succession should take place over time, on new sites.
There is also opportunity to develop woodland skills and crafts for the future and to open up woodlands for the people in an educational, biodiversity and practical sense.
Grazing animals need to be a key consideration in future management and maintenance to establish healthy woodlands.