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NEWS RELEASE No: 1369518 JUNE 2010

Forestry Commission plan to protect English landscapes

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Marches landscape from Mortimer Forest

Making sure that trees, woods and forests are playing their part to protect and improve English landscapes is at heart of a five year action plan published by the Forestry Commission today. It will support the Government to meet its commitments under the European Landscape Convention (ELC).

Through this plan the Forestry Commission will have a better idea how well woodland landscapes are planned and protected on the land it manages on behalf of the public. It will also establish what needs to be done to improve policies, guidance and standards as well as improving practical knowledge and skills across the whole forestry sector.

The plan aims to make sure that the role of trees in our important environmental and cultural landscapes are properly considered and genuinely involve local people and communities in decisions that will affect what they will see around them every day for decades to come.

Factors that impact on the future of our woodlands include adapting to the needs of wildlife, the effects of climate change on our landscape and the changing recreational requirements, such as cycling, concerts and other organised events.

Roger Worthington, a landscape architect for the Forestry Commission, said:

"The Forestry Commission already has a lot of experience of considering how trees affect the countryside at a landscape-scale. For example our Forest Design Plans are sensitive to surrounding landscapes and involve consultation with local communities and industry professionals.  They are prepared to create multi-purpose forestry for the future and plan for managing recreation, productive timber, and protecting ancient woodlands and open habitats such as heathland.

"It will help us to understand what we and others are already doing well and identify where we need to improve."

1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. Further information can be found at

2. The Forestry Commission's action plan for the European Landscape Convention  can be downloaded from LINK 3. The European Landscape Convention (ELC) was signed by the UK Government in 2006 and came in to force in 2007. Further information can be found at

Stuart Burgess, 0117 372 1073,
Roger Worthington, Senior Landscape Architect, Forestry Commission England, tel. 01392 834223, mob. 07785 928973,