The Institute of Chartered Foresters has welcomed the announcement from Environment Secretary Michael Gove that £10 million funding is being made available to plant more than 130,000 trees in England’s towns and cities.
It is also urging professional foresters to make sure their views are known as the Government prepares to consult on a new English Tree Strategy later this year which will have an input into a new flagship Environment Bill.
“Professional foresters and arboriculturists must be a vital part of this planning and members of the Institute of Chartered Foresters have the expertise and knowledge to help make sure that the new strategy is relevant and achievable,” said Shireen Chambers FICFor, Executive Director of the Institute.
“I welcome the announcement of funding for 130,000 trees to be planted in towns and cities in England. The importance of trees and woodland to our well-being is being highlighted at the Chelsea Flower Show this week with show gardens emphasising how they can be incorporated into our lives. Mental health week has also reminded us of the importance of trees and forests as a calming influence.
“Looking ahead to the new tree strategy, I hope that the Environment Secretary will take on board the views of professional foresters and embrace the chance to make sure that we can have an ambitious strategy to increase woodland cover for all the benefits that trees bring, not least in the current crucial fight against climate change,” she added.
Chartered Arboriculturist Sharon Hosegood FICFor, the Institute’s Vice President, also welcomed the announcement and the funding. “Trees are becoming ever more important to the environment and we need to protect them as well as plant more of them. I work for developers in the private and public sector and witness first-hand the pressures of climate change, escalating pests and diseases and land use changes,” she said.
“It is not just about planting more trees in town and cities but how we do it and where, the right trees in the right place. It is also about resourcing. We need strong Government and proactive and properly funded Local Authorities. Collaboration between professionals is increasing, but it is our responsibility to help steer policies that result in successful urban forestry,” she added.
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