THE closure of Wykeham Forest Tree Nursery will undermine the government’s climate change plans, a union has warned.

The Forestry Commission claims that due to modernisation plans and a move away from maintaining live trees towards seedling production in Cheshire, the site is no longer viable.  

However, the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), which represents permanent staff at the nursery, rejects the claims, pointing out that the loss of specialised jobs and live tree production in Wykeham will undermine government plans to tackle climate change.

The union argues that the nursery provides much-needed resources to the timber industry, that it could assist government plans to plant the Great Northern Forest and ultimately play a valued role in tackling carbon emissions.

READ MORE: Forestry England announces nursery closure

PCS officer Mark Peyton said: “It is outrageous that the Forestry Commission has sought to throw our members on the scrapheap in an area already struggling for jobs and needlessly undermine efforts to effectively combat emissions.

“The horticulture sector needs to retain its expertise, and live trees sourced in Britain are a big part of maintaining a healthy environment.

“We are calling on ministers to intervene and halt what would be a tragic loss to the horticulture industry.”  

The union is lobbying local MPs and representing affected members throughout the redundancy consultation, which finishes on 7 May.

The closure is proposed to take place by April 2022.

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