As you will remember from the Trust’s general election campaign, we called on all political parties to adopt a target of doubling native woodland cover in the UK over the next fifty years. Both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat manifestos contained commitments to increase woodland and tree cover. The Conservative’s commited to planting up to one million more trees in the next Parliament, and the Lib Dem’s pledged to aim to double woodland cover by 2050.
For our manifesto vision to be achieved we believe that the Government should bring together the public, private and voluntary sectors in order to deliver new native woodland creation. In practice this can be achieved through the following actions:
- Encouraging private landowners to plant trees. This should include a stronger emphasis on woodland creation in the existing grants scheme, enabling the creation of tradeable carbon permits from domestic forestry and re-evaluating the role of the tax system.
- Using the planning system and mechanisms such as conservation banking to enable the creation of new native woods within walking distance of residential areas.
- Scoping opportunities to plant trees in existing publicly owned spaces such as parks, schools, and other public sector land.
- Enabling every child to plant trees and engage with the natural world as part of their formal education to develop rounded citizens equipped for 21st century challenges.
You can read the full text from our e-politix comment piece here. In the meantime please feel free to share your thoughts with us.