Poor planting rates, plus woodland losses and weak protection of ancient woods mean deforestation is highly likely in England, with some areas of woodland felled or destroyed and not replanted. Despite repeated requests; there is little effort from the Government to accurately quantify the cumulative losses of woodland resulting from planning, infrastructure, tree disease and intensive land use.
Coupled with the new and worryingly low planting rates which look like being at an all-time low, this puts our government in no position to stand on the international stage calling for emerging economies to stop the destruction and degradation of their forests when our own are in a state of serious decline.
The challenges of tree disease will see many thousands of trees lost from our cherished landscapes. In a few short years the dreadful impact of Dutch Elm Disease will be repeated but this time on millions of native ash trees across the country.