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We are delighted to announce that John Lockhart has been invited to deliver a keynote address at an upcoming conference on woodland creation.

John will speak at the Accelerating Woodland Creation Conference on 25th March, which in light of Coronavirus and for the health & safety of all delegates, will now take place as an online webinar (full details can be accessed via the link below).

The 2019 general election manifestos of most political parties contained pledges for either large-scale tree planting or substantially increased woodland cover in the UK.  The Accelerating Woodland Creation Conference has been organised by the Ecosystems Knowledge Network and will focus on the feasibility of delivering on the tree-planting ambitions of NGOs, business and woodland creation’s role in the government’s net zero target of 2050.

John comments:

I am very much looking forward to speaking at the Accelerating Woodland Creation Conference.  Whilst it is great news that the UK government is prioritising an increase in tree planting and greater woodland cover, it is vital that all stakeholders work together in order to plan how these much-needed targets can be achieved, particularly in England where any increases in tree planting have been negligible in recent years.  This conference promises to be a useful early step in seizing the opportunities for the environment, communities and business that making this target a reality will provide.

John’s speech, ‘The business of accelerating woodland creation’ will begin the first of four sessions, entitled ‘Woodland creation: finance and the business case.’

Increased tree planting simply will not happen unless businesses gets on board.  My speech will focus on how businesses will be motivated to engage with this important process when it sees it can not only coexist but flourish alongside woodland creation.  It is vital that businesses are aware of the support available to them from the Forestry Commission, potentially including grants such as the Woodland Carbon Fund, tax relief and opportunities to generate an income through woodland.

The remaining sessions at the conference will focus on ‘Woodland in and around urban centres’, ‘National capability for accelerating woodland creation and management’, finishing with ‘Conclusions on accelerating tree planting and woodland creation’.  Speakers throughout the event will include many prominent voices in the landowner and management, policy advisory, regulatory and research sectors.

It’s a privilege to deliver the first keynote address in what promises to be a thought-provoking and inspirational day hearing from many of the key professionals who are in a position to help make the government’s tree planting targets a reality.  I am very much looking forward to sharing ideas and learning from like minded professionals on the day.

The Accelerating Woodland Creation conference is taking place as an online webinar on 25th March (9 am – 5 pm) in partnership with Strutt & Parker and Grown in Britain.

Those interested in attending the conference can find out more at

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