Policy Roundup – December 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

At the Institute we’re feeling grateful – not just for the Christmas break (though that is definitely welcome) but to look back on a year we can be proud of. 2020 has seen an unprecedented pace and scale of change in terms of public policy, for the environment and especially for trees. Next year will be even more of a game-changer and will bring different challenges. We plan to return in January with revived energy for kicking off new projects, stepping up work with our partners and building on our efforts to influence policy for the benefit of our members and the profession.

Agricultural Support Post-Brexit

There are significant developments on post-EU rural support. In England Defra published the Agricultural Transition Plan. ICF Representative for ELMs and Agricultural Transition, Neville Elstone MICFor, recently wrote a blog with information on the new plan, how it links to the Environmental Land Management scheme and what the Institute has been doing in this area.

Read Agricultural Transition Plan Blog

The Welsh Government recently published their Agriculture White Paper which sets out their plans for the introduction of an Agriculture (Wales) Bill in the next term. A consultation on the White Paper will close on 25 March 2021 and we will be sending a response. If you have any thoughts on the paper, please send your thoughts to Jemima Cooper.

Ongoing Work with Defra 

We continue our work with Defra on sector skills (read about this in last month’s policy blog) and have linked them up with the Forestry Skills Forum where the work will continue in earnest. We were very pleased to host senior Defra speakers for an update on the England Tree Strategy and the England Tree Planting Programme on Thursday 17 December. Co-Director Naomi Matthiessen’s presentation received lively engagement from delegates and there was a high level of commitment from Defra and the sector to work together to achieve the multiple objectives of the England Tree Strategy.

Forestry & Tree Planting 

This month we attended another All Party Parliamentary Group on forestry and tree planting hosted by Confor. Jim Mackinnon CBE spoke on UK Government tree planting targets:

“Strong political will is crucial to meeting the UK’s ambitious tree planting targets, according to the architect of Scotland’s success in driving up new woodland creation”

We’re looking forward to launching our new website in January 2021 that will feature a section dedicated to policy with plenty of opportunities for members to get involved. Look out for it in the new year and in the meantime have a lovely break.

News, Policy & Research Updates from Across the Sector

Climate Change

Climate Change Committee’s publish Sixth Carbon Budget – read

UK Government response to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – read

Green Recovery Challenge Fund projects announced – read


New rules for businesses – read

Plant Health: change of regulations from 1 January – read

Funding & Initiatives for Trees

England’s 10 Community Forests receive 500 hectare planting boost – read

£3.9 million for innovative tree planting – read

Roundup of National Tree Week by Defra – read

UK Land Carbon Registry – Woodland Carbon Code and Peatland Code now together for a joined up carbon market – read

Forest Management Plans in Wales become a permanent option after pilot – read


The Science Under the Christmas Tree – read

Health and climate change report – read

Tree crops and biodiversity – read

A record year for public squirrel spotting – read

Have Your Say

EFRA inquiry on ELMs – respond

Agriculture White Paper Wales – respond

Integrating trees on your land – get involved

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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