The Forestry Commission is both a government department and a statutory body with a board of Commissioners.
The board consists of a Chair and up to 10 other Forestry Commissioners, who are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of Ministers. The Commissioners have a number of specific statutory duties and powers. These are summarised in the Forestry Act as:
- promoting the interests of forestry
- the development of afforestation
- the production and supply of timber and other forest products
In practice, these mainly relate to providing incentives (grants), regulation though controls on felling, plant health issues and managing the public forest estate.
The Commissioners have a legal duty to seek a reasonable balance between the production and supply of timber and the interests of conservation. In promoting the multiple benefits of forestry, they also seek to take careful account of the needs and wishes of people and local communities.
As forestry is a devolved matter, the Commissioners report separately to Westminster Ministers and Scottish Ministers.
- Minister for England and GB matters: Thérèse Coffey
- Minister for Scotland: Fergus Ewing
- Sir Harry Studholme - Chair
- Ian Gambles - Forestry Commissioner, England
- Jo O’Hara - Head Forestry Commission, Scotland
- Amanda Bryan - Forestry Commissioner, Scotland
- George McRobbie - Forestry Commissioner, Scotland
- Dr Mary Barkham - Forestry Commissioner, England
- Julia Grant - Forestry Commissioner, England
Terms of reference
The Board of Commissioners:
- Ensure that Commissioners’ statutory duties are fulfilled
- Oversee changes to the Forestry Commission’s role or governance structure
- Delegate to the National Committee for England such functions as are required to support the Government Forestry and Woodlands Policy in England
- Delegate to the Scotland National Committee such functions as are required to support the National Committee’s role in ensuring that the Ministers policies are delivered efficiently and effectively
- Oversee Central Services (including inventory, forecasting and operational support, human resources, finance and accounting services, internal audit, information systems, corporate and forestry support, and Forest Research)
- Recommend both the Forest Research Corporate Plan and the Corporate Plan for cross-border activities to the Secretary of State, Defra
- Maintain an overview of corporate risk
Commissioners’ Register of interests
Meetings and meeting papers
The board meets 4 times per year.