In advance of a panel discussion hosted by Confor at a Conservative Party Conference fringe event being held today, CLA President Ross Murray said a new post-Brexit food, farming and environmental policy post-Brexit should put forestry on a more equal footing to agriculture by offering better incentives to change the use of land from farming to forestry.
Mr Murray said: “There is an underlying presumption that the primary purpose of rural land is to produce food.
“We want to be much more radical in our approach to developing a new food, farming and environmental policy to replace the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) because we understand the public benefits trees bring.
“Woodlands provide a wide range of important environmental services for society such as wildlife habitat, carbon sequestration, soil protection, water quality and flood alleviation.
“A new policy should place greater emphasis on supporting woodland creation and management which gives land managers wishing to take a longer term view on their land use activities a much more profitable and competitive option than is currently available.”
CLA President Ross Murray takes part in Confor’s ‘The Future of Forestry Post-Brexit: A Green and Profitable Future?’ today (4pm – 5.15pm at the Birmingham ICC in Executive Room 7)
The CLA President is also taking part in a fringe panel discussion with Farming Minister George Eustice MP and RSPB Chief Executive Mike Clarke examining farming and the environment outside of the EU, chaired by EFRA Select Committee Chairman Neil Parish MP.