Our Response to the England Tree Strategy Consultation
The England Tree Strategy is an immense opportunity, with high risk and reward
On behalf of our members and the profession, we have responded to the consultation on the development of an England Tree Strategy. Along with the questionnaire, we wrote a covering statement setting out our position as an organisation.
Our response was developed from a range of inputs:
- We conducted a survey to get our members’ views
- We ran two workshops for our members on the strategy consultation – you can watch these here.
- We convened a task and finish group made up of members
- We had input from members of the Institute’s Council
The 5 key messages in our response:
- Strategic Direction
The final strategy needs a sharp focus, political will to drive forward the scale of change needed, and have read-across to other departments and policy developments.
Different actions are suitable for different purposes and the strategy must be clear about its delivery plan. There also needs to be more detail on urban trees and trees outside of woodland.
- Skills and Standards
The final strategy will need to be much stronger on skills and careers, given the urgent need for more skilled staff in the forestry and arboriculture workforce. Professional standards will be ever more important.
- Sustainable Business
We must create new markets for ecosystem services, as well as supporting existing markets, to make trees and woodlands financially attractive. This includes removing regulatory and administrative disincentives.
It is critical that the strategy is evidence-led and we urge Defra to engage with us as partners who can convene experts from our diverse membership. It also needs quantified commitments and monitoring.
We are hugely grateful to the task and finish group, Graham Garratt FICFor, Paul Nolan MICFor, John Tucker MICFor and Amelia Williams MICFor, for providing invaluable expertise and steer.