England’s National Forestry Forum will be challenged to play their part in growing the importance, protection and size of England’s urban forest on 12 April following the publication of ‘Our Vision for a resilient urban forest’.
Hosted by Defra and the Forestry Commission, the forum is the chance for more than 60 forestry organisations and individuals to hear progress on the Government’s forestry policy and discuss how they will take this and other key activities forward.
The Vision is a call to action for a resilient urban forest and was produced by a network of urban forestry specialists from the Forestry Commission’s Forestry and Woodland Advisory Committees (FWACs). The document was launched at the England Community Forest Conference on 23 March 2016.
Setting out what could be achieved by seeing all the trees in our urban environment as a single collective forest, Jane Carlsen, the Urban FWAC Network Chair said: “I am delighted that we have created a visionary document which sets out the many benefits that trees offer to people in our towns and cities and seeks to unite the whole urban forestry sector with a single vision.”
At the Community Forest conference she called upon the urban forestry sector to work closely with planners, highway engineers and landscape and health professionals to ensure that trees are included in their thinking and planning.
Paul Nolan, who leads the England Community Forest Partnership said: “The community forests have been helping to put many aspects of this vision into reality for over 25 years and we are hugely supportive of the vision document. It brings to the forefront the value and importance of our work in urban areas.”
The Vision is supported by Forestry Minister, Rory Stewart OBE, MP, and in his foreword Sir Harry Studholme, chairman of the Forestry Commission set three challenges to people make the vision a reality by knowing:
• the scale and value of the urban forest local to them
• how well cared for is your urban forest
• if there is a local target to increase tree and canopy cover
He said: “There is a huge opportunity in this Vision, which is not simply about trees but about making our cities more liveable.”