19 May 2021
DIDCOT, UK: Horticultural Trades Association statement in response to Defra’s England Trees Action Plan.
The Horticultural Trades Association has welcomed the latest tree action plan for England to emerge from Defra today, but warns that the plan is short on the necessary detail – particularly for boosting UK nursery production. Market place confidence is needed by the industry if the Government’s plans are to be realised, they stated.
With trees one of the single biggest ways for sequestering carbon, the trade body for UK commercial tree and plant growers, backs moves to increase tree planting to help support Government plans to achieve Net Zero.
Chairman of the HTA Tree & Hedging Group, Steven Green of Johnsons of Whixley said: “Although the new action plan makes provision for increasing UK nursery production, for the Government’s Action Plan to be successful they need to ensure there is full confidence in the market place. UK nurseries will not produce new trees if there is still a lack of detail and uncertainty. The Government must step in and be more definitive – setting the planting targets into legislation would be a way to do this.
We are delighted to see recognition of the industry-led ‘Plant Healthy’ and ‘Plant Health Management Standard’ initiatives to underpin biosecurity. This is exactly the approach which engages the industry and ensures exemplar best practice becomes the norm, rather than trade restrictions which harm UK businesses.
We are committed to working with Government on this Action Plan and want to see the reality of more trees planted in the UK successfully realised.”