Policy Roundup – December 2021

Our monthly policy and research blog updates you on the latest work at the Institute and how you can get involved.

Institute News

It has been another challenging year, from COVID-19 to Storm Arwen, with not a single dull moment in the world of tree policy.

In the 2020 Membership Survey, our members’ top priority for us was to work with key decision makers to influence policy. It is a time of huge opportunity for our sector and we have been working hard to get it right – staff, members, partners and governments. Here we wrap up 2021 and look forward to 2022.

Policy Highlights in 2021

  • Stronger and better relationships with governments, public bodies, stakeholders and partners
  • Institute position paper on forestry skills crisis getting traction from ministers and partners UK-wide
  • New website with dedicated policy section and strong voice section on homepage
  • Being able to be more proactive as opposed to reactive
  • Receiving more enquiries from media outlets, members and stakeholders coming to us with their thoughts
  • 10 consultations/position papers published, including the recent GB Biosecurity Strategy and the UKWAS 5 consultation
  • Various articles and updates in TREES, on the website and on social media
  • Setting up a sector group to influence agricultural transition in England, launching in the new year
  • Health and safety task and finish group pushing safety up the agenda
  • So much more, from all the groups and committees that reps and staff have been working on.


A huge thank you to all our members who have supported us in this work.

Coming up in 2022

  • Focus on the skills agenda, working with governments and partners
  • Major bid to the Trees Call to Action Fund for UKFS training and leadership scheme
  • Influencing agricultural transition across the UK
  • Setting up a members’ policy panel to help steer our work
  • ICF Membership Survey 2022
  • More regular policy updates for members.


We wish you a restful break and a happy new year.

Sector News

  • Help measure the impact of forestry on the economy with this survey – respond
  • Northern Ireland Environment Strategy consultation – respond directly
  • New network in Scotland for farmers and crofters to highlight and share climate change mitigation actions – read
  • Forestry and Land Scotland launch climate change plan – read
  • Major contractors call for carbon-based public procurement – read
  • UK forest market report for 2021 published – read

Agricultural Transition

We continue to work hard on getting woodland properly included in Environmental Land Management.

  • Environment Secretary barely mentions trees in speech at a CLA conference this month – read
  • Concern that land entered into Sustainable Farming Incentive will not be eligible for EWCO for 3 years – read
  • Sign up for co-designing the Future Farming and Countryside Programme – respond


Funding, Regulations & Guidance

  • Nature for Climate fund announcement – read
  • Guidance on using natural colonisation for new woodland creation – read
  • EIA refresh as part of EWCO – read
  • Forestry Commission: e-alert from 9 December – read
  • Forestry Commission: e-alert from 15 December – read


Plant Health

  • New plant health controls from 1 January 2022 – read
  • Movement restrictions for Phytophthora pluvialis in Scotland – read



  • Herbivores and ecosystem damage – read
  • Urban life is better for the environment – read
  • Mental health benefits of visiting UK woods – read
  • Forestry, biodiversity and green finance – read

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