New scheme to help UK seed suppliers and tree growers

The Forestry Commission is inviting prospective applicants to quote for a new scheme which will help UK seed suppliers and tree growers predict supply and demand.

The government manifesto committed to increase tree planting across the UK to 30,000ha of new woodlands each year by 2025. The £640 million Nature for Climate Fund announced in the March 2020 budget will support these ambitions for tree planting in England.

The programme of work being developed by the Forestry Commission and Defra to support delivery of the Nature for Climate Fund has identified that to meet these targets there needs to be a significant increase in the UK production of tree planting material, to decrease the reliance on imports. This anticipated new woodland creation, alongside sustainable forest management of existing woodlands requiring restocking of harvested sites, will benefit from more accurate matching of supply and demand for seeds and trees.

The Forestry Commission want to introduce a Nursery Notification Scheme (NNS), which will inform UK seed suppliers and tree growers of forthcoming woodland creation and restocking projects and allow them to prepare tree stock accordingly.

The aim of the work being tendered is to provide the Forestry Commission with costed options for this Nursery Notification System, with a focus on forestry trees, to be developed from 2021 and that meets the needs of:

 ·        trade associations representing major tree nurseries; smaller tree nurseries; tree seed suppliers, in order to provide sufficient visibility and certainty so that they can grow the types and quantities of trees that will be required;

·        major forestry contractors involved in woodland creation; the Forestry Commission and Defra, in order to ensure sufficient supply of the types and quantities of trees required to supply woodland creation and tree planting projects coming forward.

The invitation to quote process will open on Monday 11 January 2021, and an information webinar held for prospective applicants on Friday 15th January.

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The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woodlands.
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