I’ve posted about the rumoured changes to ELMS policy on the Wood for the Trees blog:

What we do not need is rapidly changing ideologically driven policy, that seeks to scrap previously made policy before it has even been enacted, and then replaces it with regressive and damaging social and environmental policy with a singular aim of ‘Growth’ at any cost.

Ultimately it is hard to comment on the possibility of a policy to scrap another possible policy that is yet to be decided on, let alone enacted. What our country desperately needs is a long term, landscape scale plan that takes into account all of the social and environmental needs of people, nature and the wider environment. This is what many stakeholders desire and what ELMS could have taken us closer towards.

We don’t need ‘Growth’ at any cost. 

I think it’s fair to say that ‘we’ at WFTT do not believe in the sense of or the logic of eternal economic growth. Especially on an Island that is as physically small as Great Britain. What we absolutely do not need is a government that creates false, binary, zero sum battles between the various stakeholders as they are currently doing with the farmers and the environmental NGOs.

There is of course a chance that the new ‘Growth at any cost’ policy may favour those wishing to see more productive forestry in the UK  – and I count myself as one of those people.

However, I for one, would absolutely not want to see forestry ‘win’ over the environmental concerns of the various NGOs. As a group (WFTT) I think that we all believe in a collaborative approach where the concerns of all sides are recognised and taken into account when landscape scale decisions are made. Productive forestry has been side-lined for too long, and I would welcome a forestry minister who appreciates the need for productive woodlands and locally grown timber – but not at any cost.

Hopefully this batch of politicians will be long gone before any of this regressive policy can be enacted.