The Forestry Commission and Natural England would like your views on the potential for woodland creation in the landscapes that you know. This will help us to identify where there may be opportunities to help meet aspirations for more woodland. This will be used to build up a picture of what is possible over the long term, so that support and interventions can be targeted. Decisions on the ground will of course remain the choice of owners and be subject to appropriate local consultation and assessment.
In particular, we are seeking your views on:
- What level of woodland cover is desirable and achievable in particular places?
- What types of land should woodland be created on?
- What types of woodland would be appropriate, and for which purposes?
We are asking for comments on ‘woodland creation potential’ for each of Natural England’s National Character Areas . This will help to capture the views of local people and allow communities to inform us about local character and the features which they value most within their landscape. This process is not an exact science and the ‘judgement’ of local people that know individual NCAs is what we are keen to hear.
The Woodland Potential Calculator is a tool that we have developed which presents information on woodland, forestry, landscape, land use and the natural environment (by Natural Character Area) and shows on a map existing land cover and land quality. This will provide context for local discussions on the level of woodland creation that could be accommodated in different places.
As part of the consultation process, the Forestry Commission, working with Natural England, will host a number of stakeholder workshops. These workshops will be used to present emerging findings on woodland creation potential nationally and in local NCAs. More information about the workshops will be available on this web-page.
The last date that you can be sure that your views will feed into Government’s response to the report of the Independent Panel on Forestry is 31st October 2012. However, the consultation will remain open until 31st December 2012.
Collation of views
The information presented to us will be collated and summarised on this web page. It will also be available as evidence to inform Government’s response to the Independent Panel of Forestry’s report, specifically regarding the recommendation to increase woodland cover in England to 15% by 2060.