FORESTRY England has announced plans to close a North Yorkshire nursery next year.

The closure of Wykeham nursery is proposed to take place in March 2022, with seed production being concentrated to Forestry England's Delamere facilities in Cheshire.

The decision to close the nursery came as a result of reduced demand for plants.

Forestry England said that although demand for trees is generally increasing across the UK forestry sector, the demand for trees from its nurseries is set to reduce by more than 5 million plants from 2021 as public sector customers Natural Resources Wales and Forestry and Land Scotland buy their seedlings from private sector nurseries.

READ MORE: Fury as trees vandalised only a month after being planted

Climate change is also starting to directly impact nursery operations, with Forestry England stating that it needs to modernise as well as as scale up the production of a wider range of tree species that are able to thrive in a warmer, drier England in the future. Focusing its operations at its Delamere nursery will allow Forestry England to do this.

Michael Seddon, chief executive, commented: "Our immediate priority is working with our team at Wykeham and putting every effort into helping them through this difficult time. We are aiming to redeploy as many colleagues as possible and minimise any redundancies. This will be a stressful time for everyone involved and we are determined to offer the support our staff need in the lead up to the nursery closing in April 2022.

"We will also be developing plans for investment in our glasshouse operations at Delamere and in our tree seed supply unit; we are very much looking to the future and supporting the Government’s ambitious plans for tree planting."

Forestry Journal remains dedicated to bringing you all the latest news and views from across our industry, plus up-to-date information on the impacts of COVID-19.

Please support us by subscribing to our print edition, delivered direct to your door, from as little at £75 for 1 year – or consider a digital subscription from just £1 for 3 months.

To arrange, follow this link:

Thanks – and stay safe.