Woodland statement backed by biomass campaign

The government’s forest policy statement has been welcomed by Back Biomass Campaign.

The Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has published its forestry and woodlands statement which acknowledges the role biomass can have in boosting the forestry sector and the management of our woodlands.

Gaynor Hartnell, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association (REA), said: “We welcome this statement, which recognises how biomass can add to the economic value of forests and therefore encourage more woodlands to be planted.

“45 percent of England’s forests are unmanaged, which means they are less effective at absorbing carbon, not so accessible, less good for biodiversity and more vulnerable to diseases.

“By sitting alongside other industries like construction and carpentry, bioenergy uses by-products that can find little other value – such as thinnings, off-cuts and residues. That provides an extra revenue stream which, coupled with robust sustainability criteria, helps landowners to invest in responsible forest management. We’re pleased to see the policy statement acknowledging this compatibility, especially in undermanaged broadleaf woodlands.

“We look forward to working with Defra, our own REA/Confor Woodfuel Suppliers Group and other industry leaders to show how biomass is key to English forestry’s future.”