The Forestry Commission have helped form an independent task force to look at whether and how the regulatory burden on forest-based business and woodland owners in England can be reduced. We will be engaging fully with the task force in the expectation that the myForest Service could play a significant role in a deregulated future.
The Forestry Regulation Task Force will identify the most appropriate mechanisms to ensure the effective and efficient regulation of the forest and woodland sector. This will support those who wish to create and sustainably manage forests and help to promote a more competitive forestry sector. It will do this by:
- reviewing all the relevant regulations governing the management of existing forests and the establishment of new ones – looking also at the way those regulations are implemented; and
- identifying the impact of regulation on businesses throughout the wood supply chain.
The task force will be looking in particular at the following issues:
- Where can regulations affecting forestry be implemented in a more proportionate, risk-based, targeted and efficient way?
- What lessons can be learned from the approaches taken in other countries with well developed forest sectors and cultures?
- Where can inspections be reduced when risks are low?
- How can a more outcome-focused approach be taken: what is it that is trying to be achieved?
- How can the concept and practice of ‘earned recognition’ be best applied to the sector?
- How can regulators work better together?
- Is the UK ‘gold-plating’ any EU legislation/directives? Can these burdens be removed?
- What regulatory burdens are deterring sustainable forest management or threatening woodland owners and managers’ profitability?
- How might changes to the regulatory framework attract new entrants to the sector and promote a greater interest in active and sustainable woodland management?
The members of the task force are:
- Chris Starr, Chartered Forester and independent consultant. CHAIR
- Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of the Confederation of Forest Industries (ConFor);
- George McRobbie, Forestry Operations Director for UPM Tilhill;
- John Morris, Director of the Chilterns Woodlands Project;
- Gordon Pfetscher, UK Operations Manager for the Woodland Trust;
- Mike Seville, Forestry and Woodland Advisor to the CLA; and,
- John Wilding, General Manager forestry and environmental economy for Clinton Devon Estates.