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Forestry Policy

Volume 76: debated on Wednesday 3 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the main achievements of his Department with regard to forestry policy in England and Wales since 1979.

Considerable progress has been made towards achieving the forestry policy objectives for Great Britain as a whole announced by my right hon. Friend on 10 December 1980. The industry is now expanding on a sound base, with restored confidence in the private sector and improved efficiency in the Forestry Commission. The new forestry grant scheme has encouraged the private sector to take the lead in increasing the rate of new planting, while the Forestry Commission has carried through a major internal mangement reorganisation and begun the rationalisation of its forest estate through the programme of sales described by my right hon. Friend in his written reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Suffolk, Central (Mr. Lord) on 8 November 1984 at columns 6–7.Processing capacity has been expanded with the development of the newsprint outlet at Shotton, the expansion the Thames Board mill at Workington for carton-board production, the investments by Caberboard in medium-density fibre-board and particle-board at Cowie and Irvine and the plant for structural composition board planned by Highland Forest Products at Dalcross near Inverness.In addition, the Forestry Commission is completing a review of policy toward broadleaved woodlands designed to encourage their positive and sympathetic management, about which my right hon. Friend expects to make a statement before the summer recess.