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Policy Roundup – December 2022

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

Institute news

There has been a flurry of activity in the run-up to Christmas. Here is a brief run-down of some of our policy and engagement work over the last month.

  • We submitted our response to the UKFS consultation after consulting with members on a draft in November – we tried to lend balance where opinions diverged on the detail, and are supportive of UKFS which remains the backbone of sustainable, modern forestry
  • Justin Mumford FICFor CEnv represented the Institute to give evidence at the Environmental Audit Committee inquiry into the UK timber industry and global deforestation – read the transcript here or watch the session here
  • We attended the Confor conference and were encouraged by Forestry Minister Trudy Harrison’s words about supporting the industry – read more here
  • Louise Simpson, Institute Executive Director, spoke at the CLA Rural Business conference on 1 December alongside The Rt. Hon. Dr Thérèse Coffey MP (Secretary of State for Defra) – read more here
  • Louise also joined a Chief Executive’s Roundtable event with CEOs from the likes of Landscape Institute, CIEEM and RTPI
  • We have been working with Natural England to become a registered professional body for their new Bat Earned Recognition initiative, alongside CIEEM
  • Our Special Interest Group (SIG) on nurseries has been lining up CPD for members in the form of articles and events. The group was established to improve links between nurseries and the rest of the sector and better enable the Institute to advocate for them externally. We will be convening more SIGs in 2023.


We have been asked to collaborate with Forestry England as part of an expert panel for the UK Forests Horizons Scan, hosted by the University of Cambridge. The purpose is to identify opportunities and challenges for UK woodlands over the coming decades, with particular focus on emerging and little-known issues. Please use this very brief survey to submit your horizon scan ideas by Tuesday 10 January 2023 – anything that has clear implications for woodland management but is not already well-known through the media or published reports.

We will be contributing to the National Wood Strategy for England currently under development and ask members to do the same by 11 January 2023.

The second half of this year has seen a lot of change within the team at the Institute, but we are going into 2023 with a full complement of staff and excited about what the year brings. In terms of policy, our focus will be on the skills agenda and agricultural transition across the UK – please contact our Head of Policy and Partnerships, Jemima Cooper, with any questions or comments on those, or anything else.

We wish you a happy and restful Christmas and New Year, and look forward to working with you in 2023.

Forestry Commission Grants & Regulations Update

  • 28 November – read
  • 5 December – read
  • 14 December – read


Sector news, guidance and reports

  • Defra publish environment targets – read
  • Forest Research report on valuing non-woodland trees – read
  • Tustins’ Woodland Market Review 2022 – read
  • £20 million funding for across the forestry sector – read
  • Complicated tree planting grant process putting off landowners says Institute Fellow – read
  • Woodland Wildlife Toolkit – read
  • Toolkit on trees and woodlands published to help local authorities – read
  • Welsh Government announce Basic Payment Scheme for 2023 and 2024 – read
  • 2023-24 Scottish Budget published – read
  • UK Environment Secretary announces funding for global wildlife, plants and habitats – read
  • Future Trees Trust guidance on seed orchard material – read
  • Plant health lead reflects on ten years of responding to ash dieback cases – read
  • Experts write to EU calling for climate smart forestry – read
  • RFS grants for resilient woodlands – read
  • Scotland’s biodiversity strategy – read

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