04 Sep 2012 14:50
Woodland Trust comment on Owen Paterson's appointment as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 04/09/12
James Cooper, Woodland Trust Head of Government Affairs, said:
"Owen Paterson comes with strong rural credentials which should mean he will become rapidly up to speed with the issues. He has shown a willingness to be outspoken in the past on a range of issues and we hope this translates into a robust championing of the natural environment against often ill-considered calls from elsewhere for relaxation of protections.
"Paterson lists trees among his interests and, naturally, we welcome that. One of the most important issues in his in-tray is the Government response to the Independent Panel on Forestry's report on the future of England's forests. The report, published in July, offered a clear sense of direction widely supported across the sector and included the crucial recommendation to increase woodland cover to 15% by 2060. The ball is now very much in Government's court and it needs to match the leadership provided by the Panel. This provides an excellent early opportunity for Owen Paterson to be bold. By doing so, he can show he understands the potential of the natural environment to provide value for money by delivering across several agendas simultaneously."
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About Woodland Trust
The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading charity championing native woods and trees. It has over 400,000 supporters. The Trust has three key aims: i) to plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife ii) to protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable iii) restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life. Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 woods in its care covering approximately 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres). Access to its woods is free.<br /><br />The Woodland Trust is a charity registered in England (No 294344). A non-profit making company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No 1982873. Registered Office: Kempton Way, Grantham, Lincolnshire, NG31 6LL. The Woodland Trust logo is a registered trademark.