Tree Planting & Woodlands

Call for Evidence Response to EFRA Committee

November 2020



Tree Planting & Woodlands


Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Committee Call for Evidence


Date:  3 December 2020



The Country Land & Business Association


The CLA is the membership organisation for owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales. We help safeguard the interests of landowners, and those with an economic, social and environmental interest in rural land. Our 28,000 members own or manage around half the rural land in England and Wales – around 10 million acres - and run around 250 different types of businesses. Many of our members have woodland and forestry interests.


These range from private owners and managers of farm and estate woodlands and forested land, owners of let land with existing trees or potential for more, operators of active woodland and forest enterprises involving sales of woodland products or the management of woodland on a contractual basis at small and large scales. CLA is therefore keenly interested in contributing to the EFRA Committee call for evidence on tree planting and woodlands. Our interests are principally in trees and woodlands in a rural rather than urban setting and in realising a woodland economy with viable and sustainable markets to drive tree planting and grow the management of woodlands to the UK Forestry Standard.


CLA recommendations













Targets for increasing forestry coverage


Q1: Are the UK Government’s targets for increasing forestry coverage, and tree planting, for England and the UK sufficiently ambitious and realistic?








Delivery structures


Q2: Are the right structures in place to ensure that the UK wide target for increasing forestry coverage is delivered?


Key structural changes have yet to be made




Closer co-ordination needed between Tree Strategy & ELM development




Clarity needed on how woodland fits into ELM




A simplified & proportionate approvals system


Flexibility on permanence

Payment rates for woodland creation


Tax – the ‘Rural Business Unit’



Advice & Innovative approaches



Co-ordination between UK nations on forestry issues


Q3: How effective is the co-ordination between the four nations on forestry issues, including biosecurity, plant health and other cross-border issues?





Lessons to be learned


Q4: Why were previous ambitions for increasing tree planting in England not met and what lessons should be learned?






What should Government be trying to achieve?


Q5: 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?

    -  Mitigating or adapting to climate change;

    -  Promoting biodiversity and nature recovery;

    -  Increasing biosecurity and plant health;

    -  Improving human well-being and health;

    -  Protecting natural and cultural heritage;

    -  Food security;

    -  Creating commercial opportunities from forestry, tourism and recreation; and

    -  Any other priorities?





Policies & funding to protect and manage existing woodlands


Q6: 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?












December 2020







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