On Friday 17 June 2011 ResPublica launched its report Natural Policy Choices: Why trees and woods matter, setting out a clear agenda for Government in relation to our woodland and green spaces, building on the principles outlined in the recent Natural Environment White Paper. With the total economic, social and environmental value of UK woodland running to some £2bn a year, the report highlights new opportunities to capture and utilise that value for communities.
Key recommendations from the report, written by ResPublica Associate Antonia Cox, include:
protection for ancient woodland should be retained in the new National Planning Policy Framework
a focus on increasing woodland cover in England, and increasing public benefits through greater public access
greater engagement and participation of civil society in protecting and stewarding woodland areas
prevention of degradation of existing trees and woodland and the creating, maintaining and making use of new ones should be a cross-cutting policy priority reflected across government
greater recognition of the role of woodland in flood prevention and alleviation, including for Catchment Flood Management plans, and in local authorities’ flood risk assessments and local Surface Water Management plans.
the Climate Change Risk Assessment, due to be published in January 2012, should take particular account of the value of trees and woodland in prevention and alleviation of these risks.
the National Wellbeing Project should take account of the benefits created by trees, woodland and other ecosystems, particularly the ways they can create social capital when assessing national wellbeing.
Antonia is a journalist, former school governor and mother of three who first campaigned for the Conservatives in 1983. She worked as a community service volunteer between school and university and has been a patron of the Bloomfield Centre Appeal...
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