0 HTA welcomes Defra’s action on new woodland planting

To many HTA grower members, the promise to uphold current planting levels under the Rural Development Programme (RDP) gives assurance that there is a market for their trees and it enables these businesses to plan ahead.

Although the creation of 2,000 hectares falls short of the country's 12% woodland cover target during 2014/15, the HTA welcomes the assurance that new planting applications will be considered.

The HTA remains very concerned on behalf of its members about what happens from 2015/16 onwards and we look forward to working closely with Defra on the content and structure of the new RDP and the new environmental land management grants.

HTA Head of Horticulture Raoul Curtis-Machin said; "This is great news for growers, and a very welcome boost at the start of the year. It will help businesses to plan ahead and hopefully provide job security.

The UK horticulture industry is really doing its bit to try to provide clean, disease-free quality plants and being able to trust in a viable marketplace helps the process hugely.

"Alongside our members we have worked hard with Defra to ensure the sustainability of the tree planting sector. We feel that a strong British growing sector is the key to economic success and robust plant health policy, both of which we want to support the Government in developing."

www.defra.gov.uk

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