We continue to press ahead with our work on the Northern Ireland Forestry Bill. In partnership with the RSPB NI, we have been working tirelessly to push for the legislation to recognise the wider social and environmental benefits of woodland, for the creation and maintenance of a woodland inventory and for additional protection to ancient and long-established woodland.
Last Tuesday we attended a roundtable discussion at Stormont. Sat within the highly decorative Senate Chamber, we went through all the amendments to the Bill suggested by the Forest Service. Nearly all our concerns have been registered. Credit must be given to the Forest Service and the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, chaired by Ian Paisley Jnr, for listening to our concerns over the past few months.
You can get the background to this from our previous blog, which celebrated the launch of our vision. Going forward, we are hopeful that the legislation will be adjusted to enable Forest Service to contribute to climate change adaptation and mitigation, protect wildlife and seek to use their publicly owned estate for recreational purposes. It appears that the province will also be given a woodland inventory to enable us to measure success, target woodland creation and protect what is valuable. Whilst the reintroduction of a felling regime should enable Forest Service to protect ancient and long-established woodland.
We will keep you up to date with further progress here, please also share your comments with us.