New report highlights importance of government support for private forestry sector


A major new report commissioned by Confor has highlighted the importance of government support for the private forestry sector in responding to disease. The report studies the potential impact of Chalara fraxinea (ash dieback) and Dothistroma (Needle blight or DNB) and makes a number of recommendations to reduce tree disease threats and damage. In particular, the report concludes that government should work with the private sector to better protect trees in non-state ownership (estimated as 97% of woodland Ash and 61% of Corsican, Lodgepole and Scots Pine). The report summarises actions which could be taken by the government working with the private sector to better protect the rural economy and public benefits. 

Confor’s chief executive Stuart Goodall said: “This is a vital piece of work. The Forestry Commission will be able to work through tree removal, destruction and replacement with costs underpinned by the public purse. The private sector, however, is faced with having to pay for these costs, and, in nearly all cases, these will outweigh any income that is received. With the aim of protecting the commercial and broader benefits that pine and ash provide, the report provides a reference document to enable informed and constructive discussions to take place with governments at the UK and devolved country levels.”

The report is available at: http://www.confor.org.uk/Upload/Documents/30_ConforFINALChalaraDothistromareportFeb13.pdf


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