A forestry task force has recommended a raft of recommendations to help reduce red tape in the forestry sector.

Among the recommendations are removal of the Gangmaster Licensing Act from forestry, a simplified guide to the UK Forestry Standard and a system of earned recognition to reduce regulations for forest managers with a good track record of sustainable woodland management.

The Forestry Regulation Task Force’s final report is the culmination of nine months’ work, and contains 15 key recommendations, 26 recommendations and a further 14 points to improve existing processes.

The task force says where long-term forest management plans are devised, approved and implemented, the government should state they meet the UK Forestry Standard and accept them as satisfying the requirements of the EU Timber Regulation and Woodland Carbon Code.

The earned recognition section provides a framework for a reduced burden of regulation and inspection for woodland managers/owners.

“We have to reduce the burden that red tape has put on people who own or manage our forests if we want the industry to thrive,” said forestry minister Jim Paice.

Removal of the Gangmasters Act, based on evidence that forestry is low-risk, means forest workers no longer have to be licensed.

Defra will look at the proposals early next year.

For the full text on the proposals click here