Clinton bosses to influence forestry policy

TWO Clinton Devon Estates bosses are set to influence the future of England’s forests following the backlash after the Government’s aborted attempt to sell woodland to the private sector.

TWO Clinton Devon Estates bosses are set to influence the future of England’s forests following the backlash after the Government’s aborted attempt to sell woodland to the private sector.

Estates Director John Varley has been appointed to the Forestry Advisory Panel and John Wilding, General Manager for Forestry and Environmental Economy for Clinton Devon Estates has been appointed to the Forestry Regulation Task Force.

Both independent panels are set-up to advise the Government on forestry policy and regulation for England.

John Varley is one of 12 members of the Forestry Advisory Panel which will make recommendations to the Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman in the Autumn on policy relating to public access, wildlife, conservation and sustainability. Other representatives are from the National Trust, the Forestry Commission, the Wildlife Trusts, the Institute of Chartered Foresters, the RSPB and the Ramblers Association.


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John Varley said: “I am keen that the true benefits of our forests, and cost to both the tax payer and the private sector, are clearly understood. I would like to promote an appreciation of how multi purpose forests can be delivered and how sound economics, thoughtful investment and public engagement can come together in achieving sensible outcomes. At the end of the day it’s about what sort of woodlands people want and how this can be delivered.”

He added: “We both bring a private sector perspective to the table and also ten years of working closely with the Forestry Commission in delivering our woodland objectives.”

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Clinton Devon Estates own and manage 1,900 hectares of woodland in East and North Devon, comprising a rich mixture of both commercial conifers and native broadleaved species; providing environmental, recreational and landscape benefits as well as producing a sustainable supply of timber for the wood processing industry.

Meanwhile John Wilding’s role on the Forestry Regulation Task Force will identify how regulations on forest-based business can be eased to enable them to become more profitable and commercially resilient in the future while maintaining a focus on low-carbon economy and biodiversity protection.

The Forestry Regulation Task Force, which comprises six members, will identify the most appropriate mechanisms to ensure the effective and efficient regulation of the forest and woodland sector.

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