Record Low KPI's for Tree Planting in England
The latest report, Headline Performance Indicators, 31 March 2017, from our member, Forestry Commission England, reveal that tree planting in England covered only 525 hectares of new woodland in the year ending March 2017. This falls far below the 5,000 plus hectares per year needed to meet the overall 12% target for woodland cover set for 2060.
Commentators from leading bodies across all related sectors are united in their response that this shows that tree planting is at a virtual standstill compared with previous years.
Our member, the forestry industry body Confer's Chief Executive, Stuart Goodall, gave his response to the Forestry Commission England report in a recent interview for Farming Today on BBC Radio 4. He described these latest planting figures as "pathetic". He maintains the need for a single agency, Forestry Commission England, to lead on tree planting with support provision for funding and setting targets. He argues that the adoption of the three-agency approach is leading to the current lack of accountability with no single national strategic overview.
Anticipating the impact of leaving the EU, Goodall calls for a revision of the current strategy and policy for tree planting with an application system for funding that works "more effectively". He stressed the value of public money in supporting tree planting as the cheapest and most cost-effective way to help the UK meet its climate change obligations.
Read the Forestry Commission report Headline Performance Indicators 31 March 2017 here.
Read more about the response by Confer and listen to radio interview here