The Government's priorities for England's trees, woods and forests, and its approach to achieving them, flow from ”The Coalition: our programme for government"
(Cabinet Office 2010) and Defra’s structural reform plan.
England’s natural environment will be better protected, restored and improved under ambitious new plans published by Defra on 7 June 2011. The proposals set out a detailed programme of action to repair damage done to the environment in the past, and urges everyone to get involved in helping nature to flourish at all levels – from neighbourhoods to National Parks. The plans are in ‘The Natural Choice’, the first White Paper on the natural environment in 20 years, and are directly linked to the groundbreaking research in the National Ecosystem Assessment published on 2 June that showed the strong economic arguments for safeguarding and enhancing the natural environment.
We will work with the Environment Agency, Natural England and our other partners and customers so that government, business and civil society can successfully deliver the ambitious proposals it sets out. We have published a Joint Statement in response to The Natural Choice.
A consultation on the future of the Public Forest Estate in England was halted by the Environment Secretary on 17 February 2011 and all forestry clauses removed from the Public Bodies Bill. An independent panel is being set up to advise the Environment Secretary on the future direction of forestry and woodland policy in England, on the role of the Forestry Commission, and on the role of the Public Forest Estate.
See the Defra website for further information.