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Ministers and Commissioners

The Forestry Commission is both a Government Department and a statutory body with a board of Commissioners.

The board consists of a Chair and up to 10 other Forestry Commissioners, who are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of Ministers. The board meets four times per year and its agenda and papers are published.

The Commissioners themselves have a number of specific statutory duties and powers, summarised in the Forestry Act as:

  • promoting the interests of forestry

  • the development of afforestation

  • the production and supply of timber and other forest products.

In practice, these mainly relate to providing incentives (grants), regulation though controls on felling, plant health issues and managing the public forest estate.

The Commissioners have a legal duty to seek a reasonable balance between the production and supply of timber and the interests of conservation. In promoting the multiple benefits of forestry, they also

seek to take careful account of people's needs and wishes, including local communities.


As forestry is a devolved matter, the Commissioners report separately to Westminster Ministers and Scottish Ministers.

Minister for England and GB matters: Rory Stewart

Minister for Scotland: Dr Aileen MacLeod


Terms of Reference

The Board of Commissioners:

•  Ensure that Commissioners’ statutory duties are fulfilled

•  Oversee changes to our role or governance structure

•  Delegate to the England National Committee such functions as are required to support the Government Forestry and Woodlands Policy in England

•  Delegate to the Scotland National Committee such functions as are required to support the National Committee’s role in ensuring that the Ministers policies are delivered efficiently and effectively

•  Oversee Central Services (services including Human Resources; Finance and Accounting Services; Internal Audit; Information Systems; Inventory, Forecasting and Operational Support; Corporate and Forestry Support; and Forest Research)

•  Recommend the Corporate Plan for cross border activities, and the Forest Research Corporate Plan, to the Secretary of State, Defra

•  Maintain an overview of corporate risk

Commissioners' Register of interests

Register of Interests

Meeting papers

Commissioners' meeting papers are available online for up to three years.

Commissioners' Business and hospitality expenses

Jan - Mar 2016

Oct - Dec 2015

Jul - Sep 2015

Apr - Jun 2015

Jan - Mar 2015

Oct - Dec 2014

Jul - Sep 2014

April - Jun 2014

Jan - March 2014

Oct - Dec 2013

Jul - Sep 2013

Apr - Jun 2013

Jan - Mar 2013

Oct - Dec 2012

Jul - Sep 2012

Apr - Jun 2012

Jan - Mar 2012

Jul - Dec 2011

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Last updated: 13th April 2016