On Thursday 11 January Neil Parish MP, Chair of the EFRA Select Committee, held a debate on forestry in England.
During the last Parliament Neil had chaired a select committee report that highlighted ancient woodland in England is declining. His report 'Forestry in England: Seeing the wood for the trees' underlined that we need more trees in the UK for the natural capital they bring and their contribution to our rural economy, as well as a host of other great environmental enhancing benefits. Yesterday was Neil's opportunity to further push the findings of his report and hear more about what the Government is doing to address some of the recommendations that were made.
Neil said 'It was fantastic to speak more about the benefits that trees bring to us. From carbon capture to flood defences, trees form a part of our green and natural England. I enjoyed listening to colleagues in the house, and it is clear that this is a cross-party issue that we can all work on together. It was particularly pertinent that the Westminster Hall debate was held on the launch of the Government's 25 Year Environmental Plan, which also agrees that trees offer many crucial benefits, including improving our air quality and public health.
'We need to do more to encourage tree planting. The returns for tree planting take a long time and I would welcome announcements that more support will be given to incentivise more tree planting. It is crucial that Government provides a joint up approach to make sure we have enough wild meadow and forest land, agricultural land, and living space for everyone.'
Read more about Neil's debate here.