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Policy Roundup – January 2022

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

Institute News

On Monday 10 January we had a very constructive meeting with forestry minister Lord Goldsmith and the forestry policy team at Defra on skills, following our position paper in the autumn. We were very encouraged by their understanding of the challenges and their sense of urgency and look forward to ongoing dialogue. We have concerns about the lack of awareness of the issues within the Department for Education (DfE) and BEIS, given that solving the skills crisis needs cross-department and cross-border efforts, and are working to encourage more join-up. We are seeking a date for a meeting with DfE after correspondence about the paper where we can explain the issues and push for forestry in the curriculum.

Given the critical importance of solving the skills shortage, this will be a focus of our policy work this year. We have had good engagement with governments across the UK and with partners across the sector and plan to capitalise on this, including through the Environmental Policy Forum. We noted this report from the Environmental Audit Committee querying the effectiveness of the Green Jobs agenda. Comments and suggestions from members on this important issue would be welcome – please contact our Policy Manager.

This month we submitted a bid to the Defra Trees Call to Action Fund for an accredited UKFS training programme and accompanying leadership scheme. The latter would benefit promising early-career professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience, creating a cadre of dynamic and collaborative leaders for the sector. Our fingers are crossed!

We are also looking forward to the first meeting of the reconvened forestry sector group on agricultural transition at the start of February. Defra have agreed to field someone to talk to this group of sector experts and practitioners so we can be an effective sounding board for government. The purpose is to ensure that trees and woodlands are properly considered across the whole programme of agricultural transition and that what is developed works for forestry, the environment and the businesses involved.

Please have a look at the consultations page and feed in your thoughts for an Institute response on proposals for agricultural policy in Northern Ireland and on Biodiversity Net Gain implementation in England.

Sector News

Grants & Funding

  • Speech from the Environment Secretary on Local Nature Recovery and Landscape Recovery schemes – read
  • Updated guidance on the Landscape Recovery scheme – read
  • Scottish Government announce funding for a network of community ‘Wee Forests’ – read
  • Forestry Commission update maintenance payment rates for EWCO – read


Plant Health

  • Three cases of Phytophthora pluvialis found in Wales – read
  • UK climate-pest risk web tool – read
  • Pests and diseases contingency planning – read
  • OPM updates from Defra – read
  • OPM hub – read
  • Toolkit to help plan and manage OPM – read



  • Natural England and the Forestry Commission have been reviewing their standing advice for England on ancient woodland, ancient and veteran trees – read
  • New toolkit for climate adaptation – view
  • Forest Research’s resilience implementation framework – read
  • Green Alliance report on agri-carbon markets – read


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