THERE is now added urgency to adapting the country’s woodlands to climate change, according to a Forestry Climate Change Working Group (FCCWG) report charting the progress of a five-year action plan.

The FCCWG is made up of 12 organisations representing a cross-section of those who signed the 2015 Forestry Climate Change Accord. The progress report, unveiled at the Confor Woodland Show, Longleat, focuses on the priority actions identified in the 2018 action plan. However, the 2018 national adaptation programme highlights that expanding the woodland resource through woodland creation and increasing the proportion of woodland in active management are also crucial activities – although both are said to be proving challenging.

The proportion of woodland in active management remains static at 58 per cent and rates of woodland creation have not accelerated as anticipated. Woodland creation and management initiatives and activities are material considerations for adaptation.

Simon Lloyd, FCCWG chair, said: “Since the climate change adaptation plan was published a year ago by the FCCWG there have been a number of high-level reports charting the speed of climate change together with the Government’s recognition that we are facing a climate emergency.

“The forestry sector is making progress towards delivery of the commitments made in the action plan but there is a tremendous amount still to be done before climate change is firmly at the heart of forestry policy and practice. The year ahead will provide opportunities for the FCCWG to provide considered input to the consultation on the English tree strategy.

“We will need to move more swiftly to see that once the right policies are in place, appropriate practice, backed up by valid research, is developed and implemented.” 

Download the full progress report at