Vastern Timber Press Releases

A better future for our woodlands?

Wood for the Trees is a series about the future of our forests, from Vastern Timber MD Tom Barnes and film-maker & forest school leader Charly Le Marchant.

Over the past two years Tom & Charly visited woodlands to meet with experts from different backgrounds and perspectives, and find out about their hopes and fears for UK forests.

Each guest suggested a policy for Britain’s woodlands, from creating a coherent plan to support nature across government (suggested by Dr Gabriel Hemery, silviculturist and co-founder of the Sylva Centre) to implementing a carbon tax (proposed by Chris Smaje, author of Small Farm Future who farms at, from controlling grey squirrels (suggested by Graham Taylor, MD of Pryor and Rickett Silviculture) to funding for farmers, landowners and communities to deliver 19% canopy cover (suggested by Suzi Steer of Tree Sisters).

These suggestions were collated into a 5 minute film, shared in the run-up to COP26.

Watch it here:

A better future for our woodlands: Twelve suggestions to help Britain’s forests grow.

1. Create a coherent plan to support nature across government

2. Bring agriculture and forestry together into one ecological unit

3. Deliver funding to turn policy into practice

4. Value productive woodlands in creating good quality timber

5. Grown in Britain policy for all timber used in public buildings

6. Funding for 19% canopy cover by 2050

7. Control grey squirrel numbers to protect young trees

8. Implement a carbon tax to incentivise local production

9. Always plant improved trees when planting trees for timber

10. All school age children to have access to forest school

11. Prioritise woodland restoration over tree planting

12. All funded tree planting to be accompanied by a long term management plan

Many thanks to our guests: Dr Jo Clark, Future Trees Trust, Dr Gabriel Hemery, Sylva Foundation Jez Ralph, Timber Strategies Doug King Smith, the Hillyfield Woodland Farm Alastair Driver, Rewilding Britain Dougal Driver, Grown in Britain Suzi Martineau, Tree Sisters & The Tree Conference Graham Taylor, Pryor & Rickett Silvaculture Chris Smaje & Cordelia Rowlatt, Small Farm Future & Vallis Veg

Find out more and watch the whole series at

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