APPG on Ancient Woodland and Veteran Trees
The most recent all-party parliamentary group (APPG) meeting on Ancient Woodland & Veteran Trees took place at Westminster on 11 July.
The focus for this important group is on raising awareness in the Houses of Parliament of ancient woodland and ancient trees, examining both the threats it faces and the steps necessary to protect it; and how to better value and protect the nation’s veteran and special trees. MPs and Peers from across the political spectrum came together to form the APPG in 2015, which meets throughout the year with the Woodland Trust acting as Secretariat.
The APPG is the best place for your parliamentary representative to learn more about our precious ancient woodland and special trees, and what they can do to help.
Already we’ve seen members raising the profile of ancient woodland in the Houses of Parliament unprompted, leading to important questions in the House and even a formal debate about the issues facing the UK’s most precious woods and trees.
The most recent meeting was focused on changing planning rules to make the loss or deterioration of ancient woodland "wholly exceptional". The Government has promised to strengthen protection for ancient woodland in their Housing White Paper, a pledge backed by over 15,000 members of the public. The APPG discussed and agreed a number of actions on how they could ensure this is delivered in a way that works for our ancients. Rebecca Pow was also re-elected as Chair after the election. Read more about the meeting and the next steps in our blog.
At this meeting on 6 December an AGM was held to vote in new members of the group. SNP MP, John McNally was elected as co-Chair. He will now co-chair alongside existing chair Rebecca Pow. Mims Davies MP for Eastleigh who has been very strong in raising ancient woodland concerns in the House was also elected as Vice-Chair.
At this APPG, the Woodland Trust also presented the results of our recent survey to planners on ancient woodland which resulted in some interesting and lively discussion.
On 14 March, the second meeting of the APPG on Ancient Woodland & Veteran Trees took place at Westminster, supported by the Woodland Trust.
Our President, Clive Anderson, captivated those who attended as the keynote speaker and, following an update from the Chair, Rebecca Pow MP, Clive talked about where his love for trees and woodland came from with the MPs and Lords in attendance. He explained why it is vital that legislators recognise their importance so they can be protected for future generations.