Forestry Commissioners have a number of specific statutory duties and powers, 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 people’s needs and wishes, including local communities.