NetZeroPlus cited in House of Commons EFRA Tree Planting Report

NetZeroPlus Principal Investigator Professor Ian Bateman has been cited in a House of Commons Tree Planting Report, published on International Day of Forests, 21 March.

The Report cautions that  the Government won’t achieve its goals on tree planting – key to achieving the UK’s net zero, biodiversity and nature recovery objectives – unless it puts a comprehensive plan in place to support greater planting. The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee is also calling on ministers to seize the opportunity to expand domestic tree production, the forestry sector workforce and to increase the amount of domestic timber used in UK building and construction.

In a new report, Tree Planting, the Committee recommends more comprehensive annual planting targets, better finance schemes and more accurate mapping if the government is to achieve its aim of creating 30,000 hectares of new woodland every year in the UK by 2025.

Planting ‘the right tree in the right place’ will be critical to the Government’s net zero, nature recovery and biodiversity goals. Today’s report calls on Defra, the Forest Commission and Natural England to set out a plan for completing the detailed mapping work required to ensure trees are planted in beneficial locations. Government must help local authorities to manage competing priorities for land use by producing more comprehensive guidance on creating Local Nature Recovery Strategies.

Planting trees must be economically viable. The report calls on Defra to publish and invite comments on the modelling which underpins new incentive regimes, to offer financial certainty to kickstart planting. The Committee believes Government has missed an opportunity to change the model for woodland management and recommends a review of the length of the maintenance payment to bridge a potential ten year gap between the end of subsidies and start of income generation from tree planting.

Professor Bateman was invited to provide oral evidence to the Committee in March 2021 and provided written submissions on behalf of the NetZeroPlus project team. A video of the evidence session is available on

Find out more about the report on the EFRA Committee website.