The British forest economy and policy
Britain has the smaller proportion of woodland than almost any other country in Europe. During the two World Wars strategic considerations led to an examination of the adequacy of the national forest resources. A Forestry Commision was set up and the state started to promote the expansion of forestry. In the second war-time examination of the national forest policy, the Forestry Commision set an aim that after 50 years there would be about 5 million acres of productive woodland. However, the aim was not reached. During the Second World War there was large inroads into the remaining growing stock. The post-war policy recognized a need to new emphasis to reforestation, and two Forestry Acts were enacted in 1945 and 1947 to speed up the planting program.
In 1947 there was 3,448,362 acres of forests in blocks of five acres or over, and 184,000 acres in smaller woods. 82% of these were owned by private forest owners. The area of high forests was 1,788,799, coppice 349,994, scrub 496,994, devastated land 151,064 and felled 665,554 acres. The objective is that forestry in Britain should eventually supply about a third of the annual requirement. The 1947 act introduced the Dedication Scheme, which for instance provides grants and loans for the forest owners for forest management work, and states some obligations concerning forestry.
The expansion of forestry was shaped by ideas of national safety in time of war rather than buy achieving profit. Presently, the main economic task is to build up the national forest industry.
The Acta Forestalia Fennica issue 61 was published in honour of professor Eino Saari’s 60th birthday.
Published in 1954