Policy Roundup – February 2021

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

The beginning of the year has passed both very slowly and very quickly. One real highlight was the #TPBE4 Chief Executives Roundtable on collaboration that we hosted on 17 February. It brought together six (unintentionally all-female!) leaders of partner organisations (Landscape Institute, Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, Royal Town Planning Institute, Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation and Society for the Environment) in a commitment to work together on our shared goals. If you are TPBE4 ticket holder, you can watch this session back on the PheedLoop platform. ICF members can watch via the Members’ Area library.

Institute Policy & Research

ETPP

We have been doing our best to keep up with the explosion of new workstreams around the England Tree Planting Programme. We are further developing plans to address the critical skills shortages in the sector, working with Defra and joining the steering group on a full workforce survey led by the Forestry Commission.

Welsh Policy & Events

We want to hear your thoughts on the Agriculture (Wales) White Paper to help us prepare an Institute response to ensure the principles of Sustainable Land Management properly incorporates forestry. It outlines proposals to address the barriers to woodland creation and management and suggests regulatory reforms including to allow Ministers to add conditions to felling licenses after they have been granted. Please send any comments to the Institute’s Senior Policy & Research Officer.

The Welsh Government are holding a series of free online events from 10-12 March that concern the development of the National Forest. They will explore the benefits of woodlands and trees for all, demonstrating how valuable a commodity trees are not just from an economic perspective, but for social connectivity, engaging with nature, our wellbeing, supporting biodiversity and climate change. If you would like to attend one of these events, you can register your interest here.

Environmental Land Management (ELM)

Last month, we submitted our response to the EFRA Inquiry on ELM that highlighted sector skills, advice provision, engagement, coherence and funding as risk areas. The ELM tests and trials team currently have an expression of interest open for component 3 (landscape scale) projects in ELM tests and trials and it would be of huge value to have some woodland creation projects in there to ensure the final scheme works for trees. Defra also published the analysis of responses from the consultation exercise they ran last summer and the Institute is quoted in it via the sector response we coordinated.

Research & Publications

  • Forest Research publish Climate Change Factsheet series – view
  • Ten golden rules for reforestation – read
  • Why 2021 is make or break for UK nature finance – read
  • Global study demonstrates that forests, water and climate should be managed in an integrated way – read
  • Forest Research survey on technical publications – take survey

Funding and regulations

  • Changes to the available Countryside Stewardship schemes this year to lead into ELM – view
  • Scottish Forestry briefing note on temporary arrangements for the Forestry Grant scheme in early 2021 – view
  • Post-EU Exit rules on forest reproductive material – read
  • Innovation fund for ideas to help farms reach net zero – read
  • Plant health updates e.g. new requirements for the import of wood, wood products and bark – read

Consultations

  • National Planning Policy Framework review – respond
  • Right to Regenerate: reform of the Right to Contest (planning reforms) – respond

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