Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 29th April 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle Green

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Woodland Trust State of the UK's Woods and Trees 2021, published on 14 April; and what steps they are taking to ensure that there is sufficient UK and Ireland Sourced and Grown trees to meet demand.

Photo of Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The Government welcomes the State of the UK’s Woods and Trees 2021 report which is the first to present important facts and trends focusing predominantly on native woods and trees, and trees in towns and cities within the UK.

We are working to increase tree production in our domestic nursery sector. This will build on current facilities and explore innovative ideas and technologies to improve production capacity. This is necessary to create a resilient, healthy, and genetically diverse planting stock, which is ready for our future climate. We have taken a number of steps to ensure domestically sourced and grown trees meet demand:

  • Supporting activities to enhance production, processing and supply of UK tree seeds from a wider range of species and provenances.
  • Transforming Forestry England seed processing and nursery facilities, at the same time providing capital grants to allow private nurseries to enhance productivity.
  • Working with the industry to increase the uptake of the ‘Plant Healthy’ assurance scheme which helps improve biosecurity and reduce the risk of planting unhealthy stock.

Over the last three years, 100 percent of trees planted by Forestry England are UK grown, meaning all trees supplied to Natural Resources Wales and Forestry and Land Scotland are UK grown.

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