Written evidence submitted by Alba Trees
Plc and Forest Carbon Ltd (Forest 25)|
This response is based on the assumption that public
spending on forestry research in UK will reduce.
The key questions are therefore:
should the remainder be carried out?
should the remainder be funded?
Forestry in UK today faces more demands and challenges
today than ever before.
The most significant of these include:
diseases, tree health.
of available chemical measures.
increased timber demand whilst balancing social and environmental
and skills shortage.
Of these, the first four are necessary areas for
long-term research work.
A simple numerical analysis of the Forest Research
project titles, broadly grouped, in recent years shows the following
|1.||Forest management, silviculture, tree improvement, timber production
|2.||Social, health and well-being
|3.||Bio-diversity, ecology, soils, hydrology
|4.||Pests, diseases, tree health, invasive species
|5.||Amenity, urban, brown-field, landscape
We would suggest that much of the work in category 2 could now
be reduced and re-allocated, perhaps to PhD students.
We believe that much of the work in categories 4 and 6 could be
shared with other European countries for improved efficiency.
We suggest that much of the work in category 1 is near-market
and therefore the private sector might reasonably be expected
to pay a contribution for specific projects. These projects could
be identified through dialogue with ConFor. It would be essential,
but not necessarily easy, to devise a simple and efficient levy
We conclude with a warning note, in recognition of the fact that
central, rather than devolved, government funds the largest share
of Forest Research, particularly the excellent work done at NRS.
This would be imperilled should Scottish independence become reality.
James Hepburne Scott
Alba Trees Plc and Forest Carbon Ltd
7 June 2011