On a recent visit to the Goyt Valley – nearby to Macclesfield – local MP David Rutley joined representatives from the Forestry Commission to review the important forestry stewardship work that is taking place in the Peak District.
David was appointed parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in September, where his brief includes forestry issues.
The visit was an opportunity to review the UK’s much-valued public forest estate and the positive societal, economic and environmental benefits that it brings.
Mr Rutley met with Mark Seddon, director of operations for the Forestry Commission; Paddy Harrop, forest management director for Central England Forestry District; and Albin Smith, the local forester responsible for day-to-day management of the area.
Together, they visited the extensive forest estate that grows mostly on the slopes of the Goyt Valley – featuring a diverse range of tree species including: oak, rowen, larch and pine.
The group discussed important priorities for the Forestry Commission, such as its overall Forest Plan, forest recreation and access, tree disease work, sustainable timber production, forest roads and the replanting of felled areas.
The Forestry Commission team highlighted the positive progress that is being made on delivering the government’s manifesto commitment to plant 11 million new trees in this parliamentary period as well as plans for a new ‘Northern Forest’ stretching from Liverpool to Hull.
David said: “I am very grateful to Mark, Paul and Albin for their important work supporting the Forestry Commission’s projects in the Goyt Valley, to promote the benefits of the Public Forest Estate in the Peak District, and to further ensure that it is conserved for future generations to enjoy.
“I hope that as many local residents as possible will get out and about in our woodlands and forests this autumn, to see all that they have to offer.”