In June 2021 the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters, held a deep dive exercise.
This was to identify and prioritise a set of actions to:
- increase tree planting, and
- overcome barriers related to:
- woodland creation, taking account of the challenging levels of tree planting needed to address climate change
- use of Welsh timber in construction and the need to de-carbonise Welsh housing
- encouraging community tree planting
You can find the Tree Planting Deep Dive: terms of reference here.
The Minister issued a written statement: Trees and Timber on 13 July outlining his findings. It was also a ‘call to arms for people to join us in delivering this essential change.’
Task Force Recommendations
During the deep dive, a task force made of experts worked together.
The Task Force members were:
- Amanda Davies (Pobl),
- Gareth Davies (Coed Cymru),
- Anthony Geddes (Confor),
- Sarah Jennings (NRW),
- Jenny Knight (Birmingham Institute of Forest Research), Mark McKenna (Down to Earth),
- Gary Newman (Woodknowledge Wales),
- Maria Wilding (Llais y Goedwig),
- Karel Williams (University of Manchester),
- Sian Barnes (Powys County Council) and
- Andrew Jeffreys (Welsh Government).
They developed the Trees and Timber Task Force: recommendations to drive change. Within the process, representatives of the many interested groups were consulted during a series of roundtables:
- FUW, NFU Cymru, Stump Up For Trees, Tenant Farmers Association, Woodland Trust and RSPB
- Afonydd Cymru, Butterfly Conservation Wales, Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales, Wildlife Trusts Wales, Centre for Alternative Technology and RSPB.
- Community Housing Cymru, Home Builders Federation, Pontrilas Sawmills, BSW Timber, Institute of Chartered Foresters, Pryor and Rickett Silviculture.
Woodland Creation in Wales Report
The deep dive exercise built on previous work to identify barriers to woodland creation. Wales Land Management Forum commissioned the Woodland Creation in Wales report. It reviews the current available evidence on the:
- barriers, and
for woodland creation. It also provides a list of recommendations to support woodland creation. These recommendations will enable more land managers to plant more trees more often.
The Woodland Investment Grant
The Minister also announced The Woodland Investment Grant (TWIG). This scheme will provide financial support for people to:
- create new woodlands, or
- make improvements to existing woodlands
which meet the standards of the National Forest. The grant can be coupled with other forms of funding. This will create high quality, multi-purpose woodlands. The window for the first round closed on 27 August 2021, but it is hoped there will be future rounds.