Farm Woodland Forum submits views to the England Tree Strategy Consultation.
1. welcomed the title "Tree Strategy" rather than "Forest Strategy" - since more than 20% of the area covered by trees in England is outside of "forests";
2. advised that Government should support farm businesses or clusters of smaller farm businesses, to establish a spatial carbon inventory of farms (both soil and biomass carbon);
3. recommended that the range of support measures available for tree and hedgerow planting in England should be merged into a single grant titled "agroforestry and trees on farms";
4. supported the NFU net zero by 2040 target, and the Climate Change Committee target of 900,000 ha of new agroforestry by 2050, but recommended an appropriate intermediate target for 2030.
5. considered that the UK Forestry Standard could be extended to farm woods, in the same way as agroforestry is now included in the PEFC standard;
6. stressed that a divide still exists between forestry and agricultural advisers and officials - and that whole farm audits should give advice to farmers on where and how to establish trees on their farms whether as forest block, copses, hedges, field corners etc.
7. noted that the English threshold size for a "forest" block is 0.1ha, while the the threshold size for "woodland" in the FC national inventory is 0.5ha - it therefore proposed that the UK forest threshold be changed to 0.5ha to bring it into line with the FC definition of "woodland", and the FAO definition of "forest".
The full response can be seen here.