Recent calls to plant millions more trees are missing a raft of opportunities to maximise impact on climate change, the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) has warned.

The charity fears planting millions of trees risks being a short-term indulgence if it is not followed by long-term sustainable management, which starts with recognising timber as a carbon store.

Forestry Journal:

Following the publication of its Forestry and Climate Change policy, RFS chief executive Simon Lloyd said: “Climate change is now a national priority and should rightly be at the core of governments’ forestry policies. Such a policy focus will drive real change while delivering multiple environmental benefits of trees, woods and forests.

“But to be truly successful, climate change policies for forestry must not overlook the enormous carbon capture potential in developing markets such as switching to more timber-based construction.

“Planting millions of trees risks being a short-term indulgence if we don’t then commit to long-term sustainable management. For many land managers, the costs of planting and maintaining trees and woodland will generate income from timber and woodfuel in 50 or 100 years’ time to re-invest in more trees. We need to be developing markets geared to this growth in home-grown production.”

The charity has called for a clearer policy focus which underlines the cumulative benefit of planting resilient species and sustainably managing pre-existing woodland.

Read the full policy at