Coalition's plans for trees gain cautious welcome from industry

Tree experts have praised the coalition Government for "putting trees firmly on their agenda" by promising a planting campaign and to clamp down ion illegal imports.

Woodland Trust and the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) welcomed the announcement a week ago from Defra.

Dr Mark Johnston, co-author of Trees in Towns II, said in an ICF official statement: "Overall this is great news. We should welcome more trees in our towns and cities but this has to be supported by a commitment to effective tree management and research."

The Government said it believed "we need to protect the environment", make our economy more sustainable and improve quality of life.

"We also believe that much more needs to be done to support the farming industry, protect biodiversity and encourage sustainable food production."

Government pledged to launch a national tree-planting campaign, but gave no further details in its brief statement.

The Tory-Lib Dems also favoured sustainable development in planning and said they would review "governance arrangements" of national parks to increase local accountability.

"We will introduce measures to make the import or possession of illegal timber a criminal offence," the government added.

"We will introduce measures to protect wildlife and promote green spaces and wildlife corridors in order to halt the loss of habitats and restore biodiversity."

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