Policy Roundup – April 2021

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

New Website Launch

We are really excited about our refreshed website with its dedicated policy section and we welcome your feedback so we can continue to develop it. In Representing the Institute you can find roles we are now recruiting to, read the brief on why representation is so important and what we are looking for and find out how to apply.

Green Recovery Challenge Fund

This month we spent a good chunk of time on a partnership bid to the Green Recovery Challenge Fund so we are crossing our fingers for positive news in the summer. It is always a gamble but the Government’s focus on green jobs is too good an opportunity for a professional body to turn down.

ICF Representation

Our reps are busy in a range of areas but particularly the public sector sounding boards in England and Scotland.

  • On the Applicants Focus Group for Forestry Commission England, Neville Elstone MICFor and Graham Garratt FICFor are working hard to shape the new woodland creation offer to ensure it makes sense for practitioners. There’s a real challenge to remove barriers while also balancing urgency with thoroughness (the new offer is set to be rolled out in May).
  • On Scottish Forestry’s Customer Representative Group, Andrew Vaughan FICFor has been feeding into the significant piece of work that is the forthcoming Cultivation Guidance, alongside Confor and others, and the objective remains to better manage the volume and complexity of forestry grant casework, including upskilling case officer and agents.

CIHT: Have Your Say

We have been speaking to the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and are exploring how we might work together. We are keen to hear from members on this – if you work in this area please get in touch and tell us what you would like to see us doing.

Soils and Stones: Sustaining Our Future by Influencing Change in the UK and Beyond

SocEnv recently published the report ‘Soils and Stones: Sustaining Our Future By Influencing Change in the UK and Beyond’ which combines the expertise of construction, forestry, engineering, and agricultural management professionals working with soils and stones. Ross Weddle MICFor sits on the SocEnv board as a representative of the Institute and contributed to the report. You can find the report here.

Sector-Wide Policy & Research

Survey on Non-Native Species

Student member Ben Sheers at the University of Bangor is conducting research for his dissertation on attitudes towards the use of non-native species. Please support this highly relevant and important topic by responding to this brief survey.

Woodland Creation Long Leases

Forestry England are offering long leases to create and manage woodlands on the owner’s behalf. Read more in Farming UK.

CLA ELM Survey

The CLA is running a test & trial for Defra’s Environmental Land Management scheme development. We encourage you to respond with your views on woodland creation and management in this survey.

UK Government Consultations

Defra is consulting on the legally binding environmental principles to guide future policymaking. Respond here before 2 June and send us your views to feed into a collective response with the Environmental Policy Forum. This opinion piece from Green Alliance gets things going.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy have just launched their consultation ‘Role of biomass in achieving net zero: call for evidence’ to inform the future biomass strategy. Please click here for more information.

Gender Equality in Forestry

IUFRO has done some interesting research on mainstreaming gender in forestry, with this thought-provoking quote: “For many forest-dependent Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs), gender equity has been a ‘way of living’. The global community can learn from the IPLCs”. To read the piece, visit this page.

State of the UK’s Woods and Trees

And in case you have not seen it already, the Woodland Trust published this significant piece of work on the state of UK woods and trees. We are delighted to have Christine Reid, Principal Conservation Advisor at the Woodland Trust, hosting #MembersHour on Thursday 6 May where she will be presenting key findings from the report. Book a place here.

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