Written evidence submitted by Forest Stewardship Council (TPW0028)


Tree Planting and Woodlands Inquiry call

Evidence for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA)


November 2020



The Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) is a global, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of responsible forest management worldwide. Our vision is that the world’s forests meet the social, ecological, and economic rights and needs of the present generation without compromising those of future generations, and our mission is to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.


FSC UK is the national office of the Forest Stewardship Council in the United Kingdom. FSC UK is independent of FSC international. It sets forest management standards for the UK by inputting into the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS), promotes the FSC system, and provides an information service. FSC UK (Ephesea UK) is a charity registered in England and Wales (No. 1130203) and a nonprofit making company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (No. 06792524).






FSC UK welcome this inquiry and any commitment towards appropriate woodland expansion and enhancement of existing woodlands. We strongly support a drive towards increased tree planting, but for this to be successful it must be combined with efforts to ensure that new and existing woodlands are managed responsibly.



Responses to questions posed by the Committee:


Why were previous ambitions for increasing tree planting in England not met and what lessons should be learned?



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?







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?





We ask EFRA to recognise the important contribution the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), through the UK Woodland Assurance Standard (UKWAS), has played in driving the implementation and recognition of the highest standards of forest management in the UK over the last two decades, and its potential role in the future to independently assure and promote such management. We would welcome closer collaboration to maximise the synergies between regulation and certification to deliver the aspirations of the UK government in terms of forest coverage, restoration of nature and a green recovery.


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[1] Hemery, G., Petrokofsky, G., Ambrose-Oji, B., Forster, J., Hemery, T., and O’Brien, L., (2020). Awareness, action, and aspirations in the forestry sector in responding to environmental change: Report of the British Woodlands Survey 2020.