Policy & Advocacy

How do we get Involved?

Cumbria Woodlands Director Neville Elstone invests a lot of time in following land use and forest policy development through membership on numerous boards and panels to ensure that both Cumbria Woodlands and Cumbria both shape and input into the development of future policies, grants and regulations that bring the policies to life.

Woodland Creation

Woodland creation is very much in vogue and a confusing array of advice, information and grants is available. Which works best for you, your land and your objects? Well it very much depends.

Should it be carbon finance, Biodiversity Net Gain payments, the England Woodland Creation Offer or Community Woodlands grants? Well that’s what we are here for. To try and help you navigate through the funding and advice landscape.

UK Skills Agenda

We have been very active in the skills agenda nationally working with the Forestry Skills Forum and others including the Woodland Trust and Forestry Commission to respond to the clear need, opportunity and demand for upskilling and growth with the sector to ensure it can meet its potential.

Agricultural Policy

The Government's Agricultural Transition Plan manages a whole range of incentives and measures including the Environment Land Management System (ELMS) which is emerging in a phased way as the Basic Farm Payments (BPS) is due to be reduced out incrementally by 2028.

The base principle is to stop paying people for owning land but reward the provision of public goods or services provided by owners such as water quality, clean air, carbon storage etc as detailed in the 25 Year Environment Plan.

This shift to payments for public goods is proving very hard for the Government to implement, it is working for planting incentives but seems unlikely to be introduced for woodland management for some time.

Neville sits on several DEFRA and Forestry Commission working groups that make recommendations to ELMS and the England Woodland Creation Offer (EWCO) and leads the Institute of Chartered Foresters group that comments on this.

Neville is a board member for the newly launched Farming in Protected Landscapes Fund which has been established to help farmers in the Lake District transition to a new future. He also sits on the Environment Agency’s Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, chairing the Finance and Assurance Committee which oversees the flood protection budget for NW England.

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