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Make the most of our exciting programme, which covers many of the challenges of accelerating woodland creation and ensuring good stewardship of what is already growing.

We will start at 1 pm on 26th May and close at 5 pm on 27th May.

Day 1 Wednesday 26 May 2021

Session 1:
Turning Ambition into Action
1 to 2.20 pm

In this opening session, we will clarify the ambitions and vision for accelerating woodland creation in England and Wales. Our keynote will address the crucial question of land and finance.

Address by Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change, Welsh Government

Address by Rt Hon Lord Goldsmith, HM Government

Keynote: The availability of land and finance. Edward Daniels, Head of Forestry, John Clegg & Co.

Presentation: England Trees Action Plan – delivering the vision. Naomi Matthiessen & Isabella Murfin, Directors,  Nature for Climate Trees Programme Defra

Short presentation on the National Forest for Wales, followed by an introductory video. Ceri Witchard, Deputy Director for Land, Nature and Forestry, Welsh Government

Session 2:
The purpose of accelerating woodland creation
2.45 to 3.45 pm

Many now assume that accelerating woodland creation is good for people and the planet. But what is the precise role of trees in a green recovery? This panel discussion will provide clarity.

Chaired by Dougal Driver, Chief Executive of Grown in Britain. Panelists:

  • Paul Brannen, Director of Public Affairs at CEI BOIS (The European Confederation of Woodworking Industries)
  • Stephanie Rhodes, Delivery Director - England Tree Planting Programme, Forestry Commission
  • Dominic Driver, Head of Land Stewardship, Natural Resources Wales
  • John Lockhart, Chairman of Lockhart Garratt Ltd.
  • Sharon Durdant-Hollamby, President of the Institute of Chartered Foresters & Director of Sharon Hosegood Associates Ltd.
Session 3:
Harnessing the value of existing woodland
4 to 4.50 pm

Management of existing woodland is an essential part of ensuring that woodland delivers value for the owners as well as wider society.  Nonetheless, this activity is often overlooked. Less than three-fifths of woodland in England and Wales is currently subject to management. In this session, we will explore what management means in practice, and what the business case is for the stewardship of woods throughout their life.

A panel discussion chaired by Dr Gabriel Hemery, Chief Executive, Sylva Foundation. Panel members:

  • Matthew Bennison, Senior Associate Director, Strutt & Parker
  • Graham Taylor MBE, Pryor & Rickett
  • Ruth Pybus, Owner, Broadleaf Wales
  • Dr Alec Dauncey, Lecturer, Bangor University
Session 4:
Behind the scenes in meeting demand for tree seed and nursery stock
5 pm to 5.30

Trees are grown and not manufactured. Across England and Wales, the availability of quality seed and nursery stock is a key part of our capability to achieve goals for increased woodland cover and all the benefits of wood in society. In this eye-opening session, we will take you behind the scenes where seed is collected and prepared, as well as where young trees are grown. An enlightening session not to be missed if you want to play a part in fulfilling national goals for trees and woodland in either England or Wales.

Day 2 Thursday 27 May 2021

Session 5:
Innovation & partnership that delivers - part 1
9.30 to 10.20 am

The first of three sessions in which we get to know some of the brilliant initiatives that are chart a course towards fulfillment of national ambitions. In this session, we discover what Lowther Estates in the Lake District of England has achieved through planting in recent decades. We'll also get to know Stump up for Trees, which has embarked on pioneering work with a vision for all of Wales.

Kindly sponsored by Forest Carbon Ltd.

James Hepburne-Scott, Co-founder of Forest Carbon Ltd. will be in conversation with Keith Powell, Founder of Stump up for Trees and David Bliss, CEO of Lowther Estates

Session 6:
The opportunity of vacant and derelict land
10.50 to 11.40 am

The urgency of meeting woodland creation ambitions in England and Wales requires us to consider opportunities on all types of land for planting. This includes land which has been subject to former industrial use and is not currently being managed purposefully. Join this session to discover the know-how we already have for planting on vacant and derelict land, and assess the role planting on this land-use type could play in serving local needs and meeting national ambitions. Help to shape this vital dimension of accelerating woodland creation. 

Panel discussion chaired by John Lockhart, Chairman of Lockhart Garratt Ltd. Panelists:

  • Euan Hall, Chief Executive of the Land Trust
  • John Handley, Professor of Forest Sciences, Bangor University
  • Franki Appleton, Planting on Vacant and Derelict Land Lead, Defra
  • Paul Nolan OBE, Chief Executive, Mersey Forest



Session 7:
Incentivising agroforestry and woodland cover on farmland
12 noon to 12.45

There is now growing interest in the opportunity to increase tree planting and woodland cover on farmland, connecting this with food production and many other outcomes. Join this panel of experts to discover what it means in practice, and how it can be made more attractive to farm businesses.

A panel discussion chaired by Charles Cowap, independent rural advisor. Panelists to include:

  • Alisha Anstee (National Farmers Union)
  • Jenny Phelps (Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group South West
  • Greg Vickers (Grosvenor Estate)
  • Jerry Langford (Woodland Trust Wales)
Session 8:
Harnessing digital technology for the measurement of woodland carbon
1.30 to 2 pm

As voluntary carbon markets and woodland creation accelerate in the UK, there is an opportunity to harness advances in digital technology. This includes the use of drone and satellite data.

In this presentation, Edward Milbank of Climate Solutions Exchange will outline the role of digital technology in making data representing carbon sequestered in trees, and indeed peatlands, more accessible to all.

Session 9:
Innovation & partnership that delivers - part 2
2 to 2.50 pm

In this session, we will hear first from Forestry England and Drax Group who are developing a new relationship with the intention of acquiring and planting new woodland. They will describe their shared objectives and the importance of partnership in accelerating woodland creation. They will talk about their wider organisational goals including Drax’s ambitious plans towards carbon negative by 2030 and Forestry England’s expansion of the Nation’s Forests using their innovative lease model, the Forestry England Woodland Partnership.

Our second part will provide new insight into the role of woodland in delivering new places for people and property. We'll be hearing from partners involved in the leading example of Tresham Garden Village in Northamptonshire; Lockhart Garratt Ltd, Deene Park Estate and the Forestry Commission.


Session 10:
Innovation & partnership that delivers - part 3
3.10 to 4 pm

Kindly sponsored by the Forest Canopy Foundation

Join this session to discover a pioneering new project that will chart a course for further new partnerships that will deliver quality woodlands at scale. The major scheme, comprised of 9 new woodlands covering over 140 hectares of degraded farmland, will be planted at the world-famous Blenheim Estate in Oxfordshire. This project is to be funded by Morgan Sindall Group plc, the national construction and regeneration group, as part of an ambitious series of sustainability initiatives. Liz Nicholson from the Forest Canopy Foundation will be in conversation with Roy Cox, Estates Director at Blenheim Estate and Graham Edgell, Director of Sustainability and Procurement for Morgan Sindall Group.

In the second part of this session, Forest Canopy Foundation partner Graham Taylor MBE will profile Cym Fagor, major woodland project in Monmouthshire, Wales. This pioneering planting on lowland farmland was initiated by Thorlux Lighting Company 12 years ago. It is now developing into thriving mixed woodland, offering great value to the business and providing a wide range of public benefits. Graham will share insights from this pioneering project, which provides a model for the development of woodland in partnership with the private sector and how to secure resilient carbon sequestration. He is Managing Director of Pryor & Rickett Silviculture, a partner in the Forest Canopy Foundation.


Session 11:
Conclusions: the road ahead
4 to 5 pm

In this important closing session, we will draw together the key challenges and opportunities raised through the Conference.

To include:

  • Address by Sir William Worsley, Chair of the Forestry Commission.
  • Address by Clare Pillman, Chief Executive of Natural Resources Wales.
  • Closing remarks by Rhodri Thomas, Head of Rural, Strutt & Parker.

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