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 woodland conservation charity championing native woods and trees. It has more than 500,000 members and supporters and its three key aims are: i) to enable the creation of more native woods and places rich in trees ii) to protect native woods, trees and their wildlife for the future iii) to inspire everyone to enjoy and value woods and trees. Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,200 sites in its care covering approximately 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres). Access to all Woodland Trust sites is free.