Today’s Sunday Times reports on the use of tree guards in woodlands to help rebuild Britain’s lost woodlands.
The story notes that around 200 million of the plastic tubes have been deployed by the Woodland Trust, Forestry England, the National Trust and private landowners over the past four decades to protect saplings from grazing animals.
The story fails to include a statement from the Forestry Commission which highlights that government woodland creation schemes require that, where tree shelters are used to protect trees, agreement holders maintain and collect them when they are no longer fit for use.
The use of plastics is optional within grant schemes, and Forestry Commission policy requires its advisers to consider how to minimise the amount of plastic required when giving advice to grant applicants.
Advisers are required to ensure that applicants understand that grant agreements cover the end of use of plastics, including adherence to current waste regulations.
A Forestry Commission spokesperson said:
“We take our responsibility to protect and enhance our forests very seriously, which is why our woodland creation schemes require anyone using plastic tree shelters to remove and dispose of these responsibly when they are no longer fit for use.
“Any agreement holders who fail to do so may be subject to a penalty or reclaim.”