RICS gives blessing to future of forestry report

RICS has welcomed the publication of the Independent Panel on Forestry’s final report on the future of woodland in England.

Given the importance of this thinking to England’s future land use, RICS has been engaged with DEFRA, the Forestry Commission and the Independent Panel through each stage of this review.

“We welcomes the final report by the Independent Panel on Forestry and its twin focus on woodland creation and the greater management of existing and future forestry,” says Jeremy Blackburn, RICS head of policy.

“This is a landmark report across the whole of England’s land sector, not just those directly involved as foresters. It offers Ministers the opportunity to initiate a coherent and longer term approach to forestry.

“The longevity of forest investment requires long-term policy commitment, even if its tax efficient status has seen a recent renewal of interest in woodland as an investment. The forestry sector has been historically dependent on public financial support and in the age of austerity, any increase in forestry is going to have to be attractive to the private sector. The Forestry Commission has played an important role in maintaining England’s forests despite the decline of traditional markets for timber.

“Surveyors and land managers play a key role in delivering the landscape which is so highly valued by the English public, and in the tree planting aspirations outlined in this report. We will be working closely with Defra and the Forestry Commission on the report’s recommendations.”