Tree planting call

UK ‘failing to set example of good forestry practice’

Stuart Goodall

Stuart Goodall: Government is ‘not walking the walk’ (pic: Terry Murden)

A forestry trade association has urged the UK to take greater responsibility for its own future wood supply to ease pressure on global forests.

More than 100 world leaders will pledge to end – and reverse – deforestation by 2030 in the first major announcement at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

But Stuart Goodall, chief executive of Confor, said: “Responsibility for global forests must start at home.”

The UK currently imports 80% of the wood products it uses – the second largest net importer globally after China, and while global demand for wood is set to soar, the UK is forecast to produce less home-grown wood in the decade leading up to 2050.

“With global demand for timber predicted to continue rising significantly, the way to prevent pressure on our fragile forests overseas is to grow more wood of our own,” said Mr Goodall. 

“This means planting more forests in the UK specifically to produce more of the wood that the UK needs.”

Enormous quantities of wood will be needed to decarbonise house-building and construction and to substitute more energy-intensive materials like concrete and steel, Mr Goodall explained.

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