The UK Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) opened a public consultation between June and September to help develop a Tree Strategy for England. Defra wanted to collect views on ‘how we can significantly increase tree establishment and woodland creation to support nature recovery, clean growth and the commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050’.
UBoC welcomed the Defra England Tree Strategy consultation as it provided us with an opportunity to shape the future of our landscape, better connect people to nature and build resilience in our natural environment. Our response to the England Tree Strategy is informed by our research to date, in line with our objectives as a charity.
As a charity, we have identified the following as requirements of the national tree strategy:
- Establish the necessary level of ambition and funding for the nation but be flexible to support and fund regionally appropriate strategies for tree planting, woodland creation and management.
- Support and fund local authorities and landowners to ensure ongoing care and maintenance of trees and woodlands.
- Deliver an approach to the planting and management of woodlands and trees that is robust against planning policy and developments, to ensure consistency across policies and delivery of the tree strategy targets.
- Enhance the delivery of ecosystem services and the public’s awareness of the benefits provided by trees.
- Increase and protect the nation’s canopy cover, demonstrating commitment to the mitigation of climate change.
- Provide education and funding so that land owners and managers can maximise the potential for natural regeneration to contribute to national woodland expansion efforts.
- Increase the viability of woodland creation for landowners by ensuring long-term income can be generated.
- Strengthen the integration of street trees in landscape design and developments.
To read our full response to the consultation and learn more about our relevant research, you can access our consultation submission here.