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The Welsh Assembly Government has today [Wednesday 3 March] published the Woodlands for Wales action plan which sets out what needs to happen over the next five years to make progress towards achieving the outcomes of Woodlands for Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government’s 50 year strategy for trees and woodlands.
The Woodlands for Wales strategy identifies the significant contribution woodlands and trees can make to delivering social, economic and environmental benefits and to addressing the impacts of climate change.
The action plan was developed by Forestry Commission Wales on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government.
The plan includes actions that will encourage the use of trees to help control flooding, and that will introduce more trees to urban environments – where they provide shade and improve drainage, as well as a making towns and cities more attractive.
Actions to increase the demand for timber and other woodland products also feature in the plan. An increase in demand for timber will sustain and expand our forest industry and business sector and its contribution to the Welsh economy.
The plan also highlights the use of wood as fuel and timber as a replacement to more energy-intensive materials like steel and concrete, which will help reduce the country’s carbon footprint as trees can store carbon for hundreds of years or more.
Elin Jones, the Minister for Rural Affairs, said, "This ambitious strategy recognises that Welsh woodlands and trees can deliver more benefits through taking bold actions.
"Woodlands and trees not only provide the more obvious products such as timber or sites for recreational activities but also the less obvious services such as addressing the effects of climate change and protecting soil and water resources.
"What makes woodlands and trees particularly valuable is that they can provide many of these services all at the same time.
"Through the actions in this plan, we aim to increase the woodland cover of Wales and to increase the range of tree species in those woodlands, making them more resilient to climate change.
"Local woodlands have so much to offer – opportunities for enjoying recreation, improving health and well being, learning and developing skills, supporting small business and developing local communities."
The delivery of the action plan will be undertaken by a wide range of organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors who are signed up to take actions forward.
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Action Plan is primarily available online at: www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-82RN8E. Other formats (Braille, large print, etc) are available by contacting Jane Holloway on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0300 068 0300.
Woodlands for Wales is the Welsh Assembly Government’s 50-year strategy for woodlands and trees. First published in 2001, Woodlands for Wales was revised and re-launched in March 2009 following an extensive public consultation. The strategy sets out a vision and a series of twenty outcomes showing how these benefits can be maximised. It can be found at: www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-7GDE7A
A significant amount of work has been undertaken since 2001 to deliver the aims of the first strategy, and the five-year progress report, published in 2006, can be found at: www.forestry.gov.uk/pdf/Englishversion1-160.pdf/$FILE/Englishversion1-160.pdf
The Woodlands for Wales action plan sets out the key activities that will need to be undertaken to achieve the 20 outcomes of the strategy. It explains what must be done and who is responsible for taking the lead in each action.
Building on achievements since 2001 and including additional policies and programmes, such as One Wales and The Environment Strategy, this action plan looks forward over the next five years.
The Woodlands for Wales strategy and action plan were developed by Forestry Commission Wales on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government.
Outcomes of the Woodlands for Wales strategy
The actions in this Plan will help to deliver the 20 outcomes of Woodland for Wales, which are grouped under five strategic themes: Welsh woodlands and trees; responding to climate change; woodlands for people; a competitive and integrated forest sector; and environmental quality.
These outcomes are:
Welsh woodlands and trees
1. More woodlands and trees are managed sustainably
2. Woodland ecosystems are healthy and resilient
3. Woodlands are better adapted to deliver a full range of benefits
4. Woodland cover in Wales increases
5. The management of woodland and trees is more closely related to other land uses
6. Urban woodlands and trees deliver a full range of benefits
Responding to climate change
7. Welsh woodlands contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of Wales Woodlands for people
8. More communities benefit from woodlands and trees
9. More people enjoy the life-long learning benefits of woodlands and their products
10. More people live healthier lives as a result of their use and enjoyment of woodlands
11. More people benefit from woodland related enterprises A competitive and integrated forest sector
12. More Welsh-grown timber is used in Wales
13. The forest sector is better integrated and more competitive,
Supporting the Welsh economy
14. Increased use of timber as a key renewable resource
15. A thriving, skilled workforce in the forestry sector
16. Woodland management achieves high standards of environmental stewardship
17. Woodlands and trees of special conservation value are in favourable management
18. Woodland biodiversity is supported and native woodland is in favourable management
19. Woodlands and trees make a positive contribution to the special landscape character of Wales and to sites of heritage and cultural importance
20.New and existing woodlands and trees contribute to water and soil management
For more information on the action plan, please contact Mary Galliers at Forestry Commission Wales, on 0300 068 0057 or email@example.com
For Interview bids for the Rural Affairs Minister, please contact Martyn Williams at the Welsh Assembly Government Press Office on 029 2089 8169 or firstname.lastname@example.org