The announcement follows a report published by the Independent Panel on Forestry that called UK forests and woodland a “national asset” and urged UK government to protect and value it as such. The report listed many benefits of forests and trees, including “carbon storage, flood protection, biodiversity and habitat provision, and wider ecosystem services.” It also presented evidence that forests and woodland contribute significantly to the health and well-being of people that can enjoy them.
ITF has a UK schools project called Tree Power, which involves outdoor learning, so ITF are happy to see the recommendation from the report that “education authorities and early learning centres should ensure every child has an element of woodland-based learning”. At ITF we couldn’t agree more.
That the government has listened to this report is a huge victory for those that have campaigned against the selling off of publicly owned forests and woodland.