Partners across Gloucestershire want to plant trees. Or grow trees. Or create woodlands. Some organisations want trees for nature. Some want trees for people. And others want trees as an economic asset. Some have money to spend, some have expertise, some have strong opinions about where they should and shouldn't go. Many are worried about the relationship between tree planting and agriculture.
This is exactly the sort of situation where the Local Nature Partnership adds value: by bringing partners together and agreeing a joined-up, holistic approach to the problem/opportunity, we can improve outcomes for the wildlife, people and economy of the county whilst increasing resilience to climate change.
The Nature Recovery working group of the Gloucestershire Local Nature Partnership have together created a Tree Strategy for the county. The main thrust of the approach is that of "The right tree in the right place for the right reason". Fortunately, Gloucestershire has a strong evidence base to guide decisions on the best locations for trees, in the form of the Nature Recovery Network and Natural Capital Mapping. We also have engaged stakeholders like the Wildlife Trust, Forestry Commission and Woodland Trust who can guide best practice approaches to development and management. And we have a nascent Natural Capital Investment Plan that will be able to streamline investment to secure strategic outcomes.
A THRIVING NETWORK OF SUSTAINABLY MANAGED TREES AND WOODLANDS COVERING AT LEAST 20% OF THE COUNTY, DELIVERING RESILIENCE AND CONNECTIVITY FOR PEOPLE, WILDLIFE AND THE ECONOMY.
The Strategy includes some big projects for partners to consider and get behind. It guides an approach to management and prioritisation. It focuses on native, locally-grown trees, as well as those adaptive to climate change. And it takes a multi-functional view of land, ensuring that decisions are taken in recognition of the multiple benefits that trees and woodlands can provide.
Strategies are great. Now we need to work together to build an Action Plan that will deliver this vision.