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CLA responds to £50m government scheme to boost tree planting

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Commenting on the announcement, President of the Country Land and Business Association Tim Breitmeyer said:

“This news will be welcomed by many farmers looking to invest in forestry. We all know that trees and forests are a huge part of the answer to climate change and delivering society’s long-term ambitions for the environment. The elephant in the room has always been how to make it financially attractive for land managers to be encouraged to invest in trees. In delivering a guaranteed price every five to ten years, it will help tree planting become a more realistic long-term option, while the flexibility offered in the trading of Woodland Carbon Units will ensure a financial return for farmers who will be offsetting society’s more carbon intensive activities.

“However, it is clear that £50 million is a drop in the ocean as far as incentivising the planting at scale that is needed, and indeed expected, of farmers. Furthermore, barriers to new woodland planting are many, so this announcement needs to form part of a suite of policies and incentives that tackle issues as diverse as taking agricultural land out of production, a lack of advice, knowledge and skills in the sector, tenancy matters, and the threat of diseases and pests. We would also like to see an alternative scheme to reward those who have already taken the step towards planting more trees.”

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