"Protecting, improving and expanding England's woodlands to increase their value to society, the environment and the economy."
England’s woodlands are a highly valued but undermanaged resource and our role is to protect, improve and expand them in order to increase their value to society, the environment and the economy.
Protecting, improving and expanding our woodlands will ensure that they can flourish in the face of climate change, pests and diseases, and that we can maximise their potential to support biodiversity, to provide other ecosystem services and to contribute to jobs and the economy. We deliver our role both through action on the Public Forest Estate, through the English Woodland Grant Scheme – worth £30 million in 2011/12 – and through advocacy, expert advice, information and support to landowners in both the public and private sectors. Wherever possible we also work closely with a wide range of partners including other Government departments and agencies such as Natural England and the Environment Agency, businesses, third-sector partners and private individuals.
The forestry, wood processing and paper industries, along with recreational visits to forests and woodlands contribute £4.7 billion to the English economy and we will work with others to maximise the potential for woodlands to contribute towards ‘green growth’. This year we will refresh and streamline our partnership working to support businesses, to reduce the regulatory burden upon them and to bring new energy and capital into the management and creation of England’s woodlands. This enables landowners, businesses, civil society, local communities and individuals to determine and deliver on the sustainable benefits that they need from England’s woodlands.
Managing sustainable woodlands requires a long-term commitment. England’s woodlands form a vital component of our landscapes and environment. They improve our quality of life, protect and enhance our environment and contribute towards a sustainable economy. Our aim is to promote the role of woodlands and to reconnect people with woodlands in order to ensure that they are valued and managed for hundreds of years to come.