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Policy Roundup – February 2023

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

Institute news

February has whizzed by, with plenty of interesting policy news – not least the resignation of Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, where we will be eagerly observing what comes next.

This month we held the planned workshop with Institute and CIEEM members to shape our joint position paper about bringing more woods into management. It was a fascinating and lively discussion where members pressed the need for urgent and radical action, given the decades of poor progress. We will now draft a paper and come back to our member volunteers for further input.

The Environmental Policy Forum has started a working group on green skills across the environmental professions, and we are taking part with high hopes of learning from fellow professional bodies what education and careers work we are all doing and how we can share activities and messages. We are determined that this does not duplicate work on the cross-government Green Jobs Delivery Group, and Defra’s Nature Skills Roundtable, both of which the Institute participates actively in.

We have drafted a brief response to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC)’s consultation on planning reforms and will be working with the Trees and Design Action Group to share key messages.

We would like to welcome to Dr Kristin Waeber MICFor as Institute representative for the UK Squirrel Accord and Harry Wakefield MICFor for the Arboriculture and Forestry Advisory Group. As well as the stellar work of the reps, staff continue to work on groups across the sector on a range of issues – notably this month the UK Forest Horizon Scan, the MoU for historic environment, the National Forest delivery group in Wales and the woodland planners list.

We are also pleased with how the Institute’s first Special Interest Group, on nurseries, has been advising us on our engagement with the nursery sector, as well as working on articles and events to support this. In the coming months we will be convening Special Interest Groups on the environment, harvesting and marketing, arboriculture and early careers.

Internally we held another stakeholder mapping workshop, building on the work of previous years, to identify where and how we should be working with partners.

As ever, do get in touch with our Head of Policy & Partnerships, Jemima Cooper, if you have any comments or queries.

Sector news, guidance and reports

  • Forestry in Scotland under Nicola Sturgeon – read
  • Women urged to get involved in forestry – read
  • 1 February FC E-Alert: EWCO and ELM updates – read
  • 8 February FC E-Alert: LATF, UTCF, Tree Health Pilot and Forestry Training Hub – read
  • Tree planting targets in Wales – read
  • Payment revision rates for EWCO – read
  • How the Environment Improvement Plan affects forestry – read
  • Pros and cons of carbon offsetting – read
  • Six successful Woodland Investment Grant projects announced in Wales – read
  • Three years since Storm Dennis in Wales – read
  • Forest Research launches new climate change hub – read
  • House of Commons debate on deer management – read
  • Sir William Worsley MICFor reappointed Forestry Commission Chair – read
  • Trees and Woodland Strategy for local authorities with foreword by Forestry Minister Trudy Harrison – read

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