Asking questions in the field (literally).
We were delighted with the response to our ‘Tell Owen’ campaign – yielding some 15, 000 responses in the run up to Christmas and helping to shape the Government response to the Forest’s Report itself. Whilst a lot has happened since the Forestry Policy Statement was published at the end of January – not least in the world of Defra itself with the horsemeat scandal – the Policy and its implementation is still very much on the agenda. The Forestry Minister, David Heath, spoke on the subject to the All Party Conservation Group recently. There was also a House of Lords debate which showed an encouraging interest in moving forward the woodland creation part of the policy and a great speech by the former Panel chair, the Bishop of Liverpool, linking the health of forests and the health of the nation.
Well, now there’s an opportunity for you to have a say again. Next week the Woodland Trust is hosting a planting event with David Heath in his constituency, at the new wood at Alhampton. We’ve asked if he’d be willing to take questions from our supporters, so what we’d like are your suggestions.
What to ask the Forestry Minister? Perhaps you are interested in the next steps on tree diseases; how we can get moving on turning the new woodland creation target into reality, how ancient woodland can truly be better protected, or ensuring a strong voice for forestry in Government following the Triennial Review… all timely issues! You may have something else about woods and trees that you would love to hear the answer to.
Leave your suggestions in the comments section below, by Tuesday please. Ten will be selected and put to him by Sue Holden, our Chief Executive, and the Q and A will be filmed and posted here…
Looking forward to reading your questions!
James Cooper, Head of Government Affairs