Brexit offers a new opportunity for landowners to provide more forestry by incentivising the sector for the environmental services delivered by trees, the CLA has told an influential group of MPs.
Giving evidence to the Efra Select Committee as part of its inquiry into forestry, the CLA which represents 32,000 landowners, farmers and rural businesses said forestry should feature more prominently in the new post-Brexit food, farming and environmental policy by offering better incentives to change the use of land from farming to forestry.
CLA Forestry Adviser Mike Seville said: “There is an underlying presumption that the primary purpose of rural land is to produce food. We want to be much more radical in our approach to developing a new food, farming and environmental policy to replace and better the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) because we understand the public benefits trees bring.
“Woodlands provide a wide range of important environmental services for society such as wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, soil protection, water quality and flood alleviation. A new policy should place greater emphasis on supporting woodland creation and management which gives land managers wishing to take a longer term view on their land use activities a much more profitable and competitive option than is currently available.
“It is only by acknowledging this that forestry can become a more profitable industry for the UK.”
Click here to read in full the CLA’s evidence submitted to the Efra Committee’s Forestry in England Inquiry.