Below is the reply recieved from Niall Pettitt, Green Party candidate (West Suffolk), to the letter to the candidates in the constituencies in or around Thetford Forest Forest issued by the Friends of Thetford Forest (FoTF):
Thank you for getting in touch regarding the UK’s forestry. I too believe that forests should be given much higher protection and priority than they currently receive. While forest cover in the UK has increased over the last century from a low of 5% to 8%, it is fairly clear that this is inadequate, and further attention is needed, as much of this growth has been from fast growing non-native species.
Under climate change, Increased levels of flooding are expected to be one of the common effects, a proper forestry and biodiversity plan is essential to keeping the worst of this flooding under control, by planting and maintaining biodiversity rich forests alongside waterways. Beyond tangible effects of mitigating climate change, this has been clear evidence of positive psychological effects of rich levels of biodiversity, may this be around homes or reducing hospital recovery times.
The Green Party acknowledges these practical, personal, and social benefits of maintaining and promoting greater and more biodiverse forests. We are committed to:
In regard to your questions, I do support all of the three proposals set forth on greater funding and legislation in order to protect the future of our forests for future generations. I hope you can see that the Green Party has strong policy regarding forests, and that we are committed to making forests a greater part of the UK