Overall, the Welsh Government is delivering the forest policies we want to see. The challenges now lie in reflecting these policies in other areas of Government, from health to economic development, and in making sure policies are delivered.
Hear more about the strategy in a Welsh language interview with Rory Francis on Radio Cymru.
Gap between policy and action
Slow progress shows the gap between policy and action. Woodland creation rates are currently 400ha a year in Wales, against a target of 2000ha. Ancient woodland restoration is also slow, especially in private sector forestry.
Unfortunately, forestry is still damaging some ancient woods. The Government isn’t solely responsible for change; the rest of us need to help too. We're working with the Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales to contribute to practical delivery and help landowners do the same.
Further policy updates planned
Planning policy is being updated in Wales, so we will need to keep a sharp eye on what it includes, who will make decisions and how. Planning decisions are a major driver of ancient woodland damage and destruction, especially those on major infrastructure works such as road building. An example is the proposed M4-A48 link road, which we are fighting since it will destroy several ancient woods.