Govt tree planting targets missed – again

From the Small Woods Association newsletter…

The Forestry Commission’s Key Performance Indicators Report for 2022-23 has been published, prompting strong criticism in relation to missed targets.

The Woodland Trust slammed the Government’s “near glacial” tree planting progress after only 3,130 hectares of new woodland were created in England this year, short of the 7,000 hectares per year target. Just 9,280 hectares of new woodland have been created since 2019.

Darren Moorcroft, chief executive of the Woodland Trust, said: “Every year our response is the same – not enough, not fast enough, not good enough. The glacial speed at which tree planting is being rolled out worsens our position in the face of the nature and climate emergencies.”

The Royal Forestry Society stated it was “disappointing” that the percentage of woodland sustainably managed had seen little change, and the percentage of growth of trees in English woodlands harvested had deteriorated.

RFS chief executive, Christopher Williams, said: “The area of new planting in England is an improvement on recent years’ figures, but it’s still some way short of what is required to reduce our dependence on imported timber, become a net zero economy or arrest declines in biodiversity.” 

He added: “As a nation, we need to place the sustainable management of woodland on an equal footing to the importance of planting new woodland.”

Read the Forestry Commission’s blog on the tree planting statistics here >

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