Torbay Borough Council to be the first Grown in Britain Local Authority
Following the successful completion of Torbay Borough Council’s woodland management plan earlier this year, Torbay becomes the first local authority to apply for a Grown in Britain Licence, as it continues to add value to its woodlands.
Torbay Council owns around 40 woodlands throughout the borough and these have all been inventoried and included within an approved plan that seeks to improve Torbay’s woodlands through active woodland management.
The Grown in Britain Licence scheme allows growers, processors, specifiers, retailers and the public to identify and purchase wood products with assurance they are grown in British woodland.
Torbay’s proactive woodland management objectives were recognised and endorsed by Dan Rogerson, MP for North Cornwall and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for water, forestry, rural affairs, in a recent speech at Westminster for the launch of Grown in Britain week.
Neil Coish, Natural Greenspace Manager for Torbay Borough Council, explains;“Torbay will be able to market the timber sustainably harvested from it’s 40 woodlands ‘Grown in Britain’. This will be a fantastic way to stimulate local markets for our wood and maximise many other vital benefits to our community such as reducing pollution and improving our health and wellbeing.”
Dougal Driver – CEO of Grown in Britain welcomes the Torbay application and passion for GiB saying;“Local authorities across Britain are showing great interest in connecting to Grown in Britain and it’s great that Torbay are the first local authority to take the step and apply for licensing and are putting sustainable practice into their woodland management planning. All local authorities have varying amounts of trees and woodland within their charge and Torbay see theirs as a fantastic asset that enhances local economies, environments and lives”
Historically, the Torbay woodlands have been under managed so one focus of the management plan going forward is to carry out thinning – this will produce round timber for the wood fuel market, as the current quality is not particularly great, but the plan has the following objectives which include environmental, economic and social considerations, are:
- Improve Torbay’s woodlands through on-going management and good silviculture. Create a more diverse age range and species palette for Torbay’s urban forest, thereby improving benefits and biodiversity and increasing resilience to climate change, pests and diseases.
- Increase community involvement by helping local action groups and facilitating the set up of new groups. Increase awareness and pride of Torbay’s woodlands through signposting, local media and participatory activities. Reduce fly tipping and litter throughout the woodlands.
- Seek opportunities to increase area of woodland (as part of Torbay’s canopy cover goals).
- Obtain ongoing funding for woodland management activities through a variety of means such as development levy, corporate sponsorship, specific project grant funding and revenue from ‘working’ woods.
- Increase Production of timber, woodfuel and forest products from the woodlands.
Ian Tubby, Forest Services Adviser on Business & Markets at the Forestry Commission, commented by saying;“The Forestry Commission has been working hard with Grown in Britain to ensure that public procurement policies are encouraging homegrown wood products and therefore it is hugely inspiring to see a public body such as Torbay Council taking a lead in licensing their woodlands and wood products and making a real difference.”
We look forward to having Torbay Council on the team!
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Find out more about the Grown in Britain licence scheme www.growninbritain.org/get-involved/licence/
Are you a local authority considering licensing for your woodland? We’d love to hear from you