The Government is currently consulting on an England National Tree Strategy. We will be making a full response to this consultation but you may also make your own individual response.

We think it is positive that the Government is developing this strategy, but it must be based upon the right trees in the right landscapes, recognising the important contributions that features such as peatlands, hay meadows and wood pasture provide, in terms of carbon capture and biodiversity, as well as health and well being, flood management etc, rather than simply based upon blanket targets for increased woodland cover of any type, in any location.

Our existing ancient woodlands in the Lake District and Cumbria are of critical importance. They are unique features which cannot be recreated. While similar species of trees can be planted to reflect these ancient sites, the soils and ground vegetation that is crucial to supporting them is very hard to recreate and is a process that can take many decades, if it can be achieved at all.

Given that at this time we are witnessing an increasingly deregulated planning system we would not want to see any of our oldest woodland sites being sacrificed for development against the promise of supposed compensatory new woodland of equal, or greater size.

Respond to the tree strategy consultation here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/consultation-launched-on-the-england-tree-strategy