Policy Roundup – July 2020

Our monthly policy roundup blog updates you on what the Institute has been getting involved in and what you can get involved in too.

Institute Policy & Research

England Tree Strategy

With the launch of the England Tree Strategy consultation, we have put together a blog on our activities on the strategy and how you can support our efforts. We are holding two workshops on the strategy and we recently issued a survey to understand your views. In addition to supporting our response, we still strongly encourage you to respond directly to Defra’s consultation which can be found here.

This month we convened a task and finish group to guide our work on responding to the England Tree Strategy. This group is made up of Graham Garratt FICFor, Amelia Williams MICFor, John Tucker MICFor and Paul Nolan OBE MICFor.

Environmental Land Management Scheme

On the back of the meeting hosted by Defra, convened by the Institute, on ELM forestry in June, we are now following up with RFS, Confor and the Woodland Trust to lead on writing a joint ELMs response. Our response will be published after 31st July.

Forestry Skills Agenda

We continue to pressure Defra on allowing Institute-involvement in the forestry skills agenda.

Environmental Policy Forum

We’re pleased to now be a member of the Environmental Policy Forum, a network of UK environmental professional bodies promoting environmental sustainability and resilience for the public benefit. In July, we attended our first EPF meeting and are working in partnership with the 12 other organisations on consultations and other initiatives. Please read more about this in our recent blog.

Jo O’Hara MICFor, Managing Director at FutureArk, has written the piece ‘What Does Sustainability Look Like?’ on behalf of the Institute. It will be published alongside pieces by other members of the Environmental Policy Forum on green recovery. We will be releasing this on our website in the coming weeks.

Land Management 2.0

We have been talking with Land Management 2.0 with regards to growing our networks and partnering on activities. Registering with Land Management 2.0, and joining its Slack community, is a great resource and allows land managers to connect.

All-Party Parliamentary Group 

In early July, we attended the Forestry and Tree Planting APPG meeting hosted by Confor. The Rt Hon Lord Zac Goldsmith (Minister of State) was in attendance and urged responses to the England Tree Strategy to share ideas. He also assured attendees that no one would be disadvantaged by commencing planting now.

Association of Tree Officers ELMs & ETS Response

We have been talking to the Association of Tree Officers regarding our responses to both the Environmental Land Management scheme and the England Tree Strategy in order to cover a wide-range of issues.

Update: Institute Representatives

Threat of Xylella

Xylella is currently a major threat, especially with the rise in imports of things like lavender and rosemary, but there’s also a high risk of infection in oak, acer, ash, among others. Institute Executive Director Shireen Chambers FICFor contacted the UK’s Chief Plant Health Officer Professor Nicola Spence who encouraged all members to be aware of the threat and to follow the guidance on the UK plant health portal.

Dr Jon Heuch MICFor is ICF rep for Defra’s Tree Health Policy group. Jon has been updating us on the ongoing threat of Xylella/plane canker and the issues with EU imports.


Institute representative Stuart Wilkie FICFor is chairing a group on the UKWAS review and welcomes all input from members. Our recent blog on the UKWAS review will give you more information on the process and how you can contribute.

England Tree Strategy

As mentioned above, we are holding two free workshops on the England Tree Strategy for members. These will be held on Thursday 30 July and Tuesday 4 August – places are limited for each session. These workshops will give you the opportunity to:

  • Learn more about the strategy from a speaker from Defra
  • Share your views on the strategy and what it could mean to you
  • Inform the Institute’s response to the consultation
  • Shape the future of forestry policy in England.

We have also been in touch with Martin Gammie MICFor, Institute representative for the Tree and Design Action Group, on the group’s initial thoughts on the strategy and these will be fed into our response.

Environmental Land Management Scheme

Through ICF Rep Neville Elstone MICFor, we continue to have an ongoing involvement in the development of the ELM scheme, especially with regards to advice. There will be an update on this in the Summer edition of our Chartered Forester magazine which will be published next month.

Wider Policy & Funding

  • Update on National Measures for Xylella and Plane Canker – read
  • Forest Research wins £2 million funding for ‘BAC-STOP’ (Bacteria: Advancement of Control and Knowledge to Save Threatened Oak and Protect) – read
  • Scottish Forestry is making over £2 million available to tree nurseries, small forestry businesses and farmers to help them gear up and play their part in creating more woodland across Scotland – read
  • £1 million for timber transport – read
  • Wales National Forest community planting scheme – read
  • £40 million for jobs in green recovery – read


  • Confor ‘Biodiversity, forestry and wood’ report – read
  • Forest Research report on deer damage – read
  • Global benefits of Agroforestry – read
  • Report for farmers and landowners on rural land and carbon – read
  • Managing Ash Dieback: 10 case studies – read
  • Responding to the climate emergency with new trees and woodlands – read

For more of our ongoing policy work, have a look at our April, May & June roundup blogs.

To contribute to next month’s roundup, or if you have any questions or comments, please contact Jemima Cooper, Senior Policy and Research Officer – jemima.cooper@charteredforesters.org.

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