14 June 2013
Defra and the Forestry Commission have published a one year update to the Government Response to the Forestry Regulation Task Force. The update reports positive progress on almost all of the Task Force recommendations, including:
- Significantly increasing activity to address plant health and biosecurity threats to the industry’s future.
- Overseeing a continued increase in the amount of woodland in management.
- Improving the customer interface for forestry grants and regulations, through simplification and going digital.
- Encouraging and supporting an industry led approach to tackling forestry’s very poor health and safety record.
- Consulting on legislation to remove forestry-only activities from the scope of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.
On 18 January 2011 the Chair, Membership and Terms of Reference of the Forestry Regulation Task Force were announced.
The Task Force explored how best to achieve a proportionate, risk-based and targeted approach to regulations relevant to forestry-related businesses. It looked at areas of regulation affecting forestry in England, and considered improvements to grants and other support arrangements for the sector.
Forestry Minister, Lord Taylor of Holbeach said:
“I would like to thank the Forestry Regulation Task Force for their commitment to tackling the issue of red tape in the forestry sector.
I am very grateful to the Task Force members and Chair for the work they have put into their report, as well as to the many respondents to their questionnaire.
In this response, we describe how Government will take forward their recommendations, as we introduce an even greater focus on a risk based approach to forestry regulation which has its basis in planning for long term sustainable forest management.
This report and the advice of the Independent Panel on Forestry that we expect to receive in June 2012 make it an exciting time for forestry, and I look forward to working with the sector to deliver on the challenges set us by the Regulation Task Force.”
Pam Warhurst, Forestry Commission Chair at the time said:
"Looking after our country’s woodlands can go hand-in-hand with growing a green economy and vibrant forestry sector. I’m delighted that we have been able to respond so positively to the many recommendations that came out of the hard work from the Forestry Regulatory Task Force.”