Policy Roundup – June 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 14 June we met with Scotland’s Education Minister Jamie Hepburn to talk about the skills crisis and how we can resolve it. We were joined by Chief Forester Helen McKay FICFor and were encouraged by the Minister’s problem-solving attitude, with a proposal about supporting career changers to be worked up. To find out more about the meeting, read this blog.

We just submitted a response to Defra’s environmental targets consultation, which includes a target for woodland cover. We urged Defra to include mixed/productive woodland in its definition of wildlife-rich habitat, alongside trees outside woods and orchard trees, and not to lose sight of vital timber production in the debate about nature. Read our response here. We also contributed to a response with our fellow professional bodies on the Environmental Policy Forum.

In early June Shireen attended a roundtable for the House of Lords Select Committee on Land Use in England following the Institute’s written evidence in April – read our evidence here and find out more about the committee and the various Institute members taking part here.

The latest tree planting statistics have received widespread criticism, with Scotland falling only slightly short and arguably due to Storm Arwen, and England and Wales lagging far behind. You can see the full statistics here. Both Defra and the Welsh Government have expressed confidence that there is high interest in tree planting and that the changes they have put in place will come to fruition with a pipeline of future projects.

There has also been negative press about agricultural transition as land managers continue to push for clarity. For example concerns from farmers and from Defra. The Institute held a third meeting of the Forestry Agricultural Transition group on 22 June to advise Defra as it develops the agroforestry standard.

Sector News

Climate Change

  • Environment Agency releases roadmap for flood and coastal management – read
  • Global leaders meet to discuss how to how to finance nature protection and restoration – read
  • Wales on track to meet climate targets – read
  • Scottish Government reports on COP26 achievements – read



  • Health and safety: grapple saws and shears – read
  • Ancient and native woodland policy in England – read
  • Briefing paper on farmer-led approach towards a diverse, resilient and vibrant agroforestry and farm woodland economy for England – read
  • NRW changes to forest management plan guidance from 30 June – read



  • Trees Call to Action Fund recipients including the Institute – read
  • New round of the woodland investment grant – read
  • Tree production capital grant – read
  • Tree production innovation fund – read
  • Funding in Scotland for local nature restoration projects – read
  • Forestry Commission grants and regulations 22 June including changes to EWCO – read
  • Scottish Forestry timber transport funding – read


Plant Health

  • Organisations come together to sign plant health accord – read
  • Update on Phytophthora pluvialisread
  • New biosecure procurement requirement for EWCO – read



  • BIFoR Forest Innovation to tackle the Climate and Biodiversity Emergencies – read
  • Unlocking private finance investment in nature’s recovery across the UK – read



  • Forestry and Land Scotland communities strategy – respond
  • Natural Resources Wales consultation on new woodland on Anglesey – respond

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