Forestry England, the country’s largest land manager and the arm of the Forestry Commission that manages the nation’s forests, has a new chief executive.
Mike Seddon has almost 30 years of experience in forestry and forestry policy and begins his new role 1 August 2019.
“Forestry England manages one of the country’s greatest public assets: the nation’s forests.
“The need for public forests came from tough times between the two World Wars and I am incredibly proud to be leading the organisation towards another hundred years. From an emerging climate crisis to wildlife decline, the challenges for the next century will be tough, but I am driven to expand on the great things the nation’s forests already achieve today.
“Our forests welcome more than 230 million visits every year – and we will make forests even more accessible by planting some forests closer to where people live. As they grow they will create places to relax and improve people’s physical and mental health. All of the forests in our care will continue to work for society and we will increase their natural capital. From cleaner air and reduced flooding to walking trails and play equipment we are making wildlife-rich, connected landscapes.”
The nation’s forests supply around half of the country’s home-grown timber, all meeting international standards for sustainability. Some of country’s rarest wildlife thrives under Forestry England’s careful management in heathland, wetlands and, of course forests. From majestic hen harriers to fascinating ladybird spiders they all rely on experienced ecologists and foresters.
Looking forward, Mike continued:
“All forests, and the wildlife that depends on them, will need to survive and thrive in a changing climate. We will also need more forests to absorb carbon while they grow and we can keep that carbon locked up by using more timber products.
“The challenge is huge and we are ambitious: we want to connect everyone to the nation’s forests.”