The Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMs) will transform the way foresters, farmers and other land managers are supported.
The Institute has led on a response to the Government’s ELMs consultation to produce a forestry sector response, partnering with Confor, the Royal Forestry Society and the Woodland Trust. The scheme is set to completely overhaul the current system of payments and grants and will shape land management for many years to come.
This response was developed in collaboration with a cross-sector group of forestry stakeholders working across public, private and third sector forestry, and was shaped by input from Institute members. The Institute convened the group to meet with Defra in June where we raised the key issues with scheme developers.
Our work on ELMs has shown how much impact we can have when members and partners come together. We are now working hard on the England Tree Strategy and we would appreciate your input. Read our recent blog on the England Tree Strategy to find out how you can help us.
Key issues in our ELMs response
In order for the Government to deliver on its ambitious targets, not just for ELMs but for the tree planting agenda and government-wide objectives, forestry must be better integrated in the scheme. These are some of the areas discussed in our response:
- Inclusive terminology – no more farmer vs forester
- Woodland options in Tier 1
- Provision of advice in the scheme
- Transition arrangements and clarity
- Payment methodologies
- How ELMs works in the wider funding landscape
- Deer and squirrel management
- Understanding regulation in forestry and the importance of UKFS.
Environmental Policy Forum Response
We also contributed to, and signed, the Environmental Policy Forum’s response to the ELMs consulation. We, and the EPF, continue to keep the pressure on government to make sure that ELMs delivers on its potential for hugely positive environmental outcomes – including properly including trees and woodland.
Our work continues with the Defra ELM engagement group and with our partners. The scheme is set to be piloted from 2021 and rolled out in 2024.
You can find out more about the ELMs consultation here.