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'Focused Achievement': 2009-10 A year of progress for the National Forest Company

Tuesday, 13th July 2010

A year of 'focused achievement' is reported in the 2009/10 Annual Report & Accounts for the National Forest Company (NFC), published on 13 July 2010.

Forest cover rose by 204ha, an increase in performance from the previous year, and hitting the target agreed with sponsor government department Defra.

In her Foreword to the Report, Dinah Nichols, NFC Chair, says: ‘Our focus is to continue to plant trees and create The National Forest, whilst looking after what we have created and making the most of this unique asset for the region and the country.’

Sophie Churchill, NFC Chief Executive, reviews a year in which the National Forest Company enjoyed support and involvement at all levels. She comments:  ‘Working with the Forestry Commission we are making progress towards establishing the first family cycling centre in the Forest; we have strong support from our local authority colleagues at District, Borough and County levels; and we welcome the invaluable contribution of volunteers to the upkeep of the Forest.’

The year ended with an exceptionally positive EFRA Select Committee Report.  The Committee’s cross-party assessment was based on spending time in the Forest and meeting residents and partners.  The Committee Report stated: ‘The National Forest Company has proved to be a highly effective vehicle for leading the creation of The National Forest, delivering good value for money.  It has demonstrated how a small, non-bureaucratic body can bring significant impetus to a partnership of organisations working together to deliver national and local strategies.’

The NFC continues to pursue the five themes prioritised in the National Forest Strategy to 2014:  forest creation; promoting quality in all aspects of the Forest; participation; communication; research and the Forest’s role as an exemplar. A major part of the NFC’s work is to promote the woodland economy, to encourage an environment that makes woodland management economically worthwhile for the landowner, and helps make it possible for individuals and businesses to earn their living in the Forest.  During this year, a major partnership project with the Forestry Commission and emda was secured to take this work forward.

A Breeding Birds Survey was commissioned through the British Trust for Ornithology, and climate change research instigated, using The National Forest as a test bed in a joint climate change tree provenance research project with Forest Research.

The 2009-10 Annual Report and Accounts for the National Forest Company (NFC) was laid before parliament on Tuesday 13 July 2010.  Download the National Forest Company Annual Report and Accounts 2009-10