Confederation of Forest Industries (UK) Submits Consultation Evidence

Confor has responded to two major consultations about the future shape of forestry across the United Kingdom. Its submission to The Future of Forestry in Scotland consultation, which ended on the 9th of November, follows detailed evidence provided to the Westminster inquiry into forestry being carried out by the EFRA (Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) committee. In its conclusion to the EFRA (forestry in England) committee submission, Confor highlights the enormous economic and environmental benefits the sector could deliver if the current low planting rates are improved. It gives recommendations in a series of areas: Increase tree cover; Improve management; Devise modern policy and support mechanisms for rural land use; Pests and diseases. Stuart Goodall, Confor CEO, has described the consultation, designed to complete the devolution of forestry to Scotland, as “a once-in-a-generation opportunity” for the sector. The introduction to the consultation response says: “The private sector, in particular through Confor, has found its voice and is taking a lead in developing policy for the sector and establishing how Scotland’s forests, both private and public, can provide a myriad of economic, environmental and social benefits for the people of Scotland.” The proposals to create a new forestry division within the Scottish Government and a new agency to take on the work of Forest Enterprise, are welcomed – but Confor asks for reassurance on key issues, including the status of forestry professionals within the forestry division and protection of the productive forest resource on the National Forest Estate. Confor response England EFRA inquiry (871KB, pdf)