The Common Agricultural Policy may have “shut forestry out” of UK rural policy thinking for years but Brexit offers a chance to change all that, trade body Confor says.
The trade group told a senior minister of Westminster’s negotiating team that a post-Brexit forestry sector could unlock jobs and investment, reduce the impact of climate change and flooding, and provide an array of benefits for wildlife, recreation and leisure.
Visiting a sawmill near Fort William, Robin Walker, Minister in the Department for Exiting the European Union, heard from Confor’s chief executive Stuart Goodall about the issues affecting the country’s forestry and timber sector.
Mr Goodall stressed the importance of the forestry and wood processing sector, which employs almost 80,000 people across the UK and delivers £2 billion in economic value every year.
“I was able to discuss Confor’s emerging thinking on the positive role that forestry can play in a post-Brexit world,” Mr Goodall said.
“As the UK leaves the Common Agricultural Policy, there will be a once-in-a-generation opportunity to design rural policy and funding support that meets local needs.
“The CAP has shut forestry out, but we now have an opportunity to unlock jobs and investment, reduce the impact of climate change and flooding, and provide an array of benefits for wildlife, recreation and leisure.”