November 7, 2021

“Control grey squirrel numbers to protect young trees”

Through the 12 days of COP26 we’re sharing 12 expert suggestions to help Britain’s forests grow.

In our series ‘Wood for the Trees’ Tom spoke to chartered forester and woodland consultant Graham Taylor. Graham is managing director of Pryor & Rickett Silviculture and was awarded a CBE for services to forestry.

Tom asked him about the state of Britain’s broadleaf woodlands. “They’re ageing” Graham replied, “we’ve been planting  a relatively modest amount over the last 20, 30 years to try and keep up the momentum, but there’s a lot of fragmented woodland, there’s a lot of unmanaged woodland and there’s lots of concern about pests and disease. Particularly things like the grey squirrel and deer causing an awful lot of ecological harm.” 

When asked for one policy suggestion to help Britain’s woodlands grow, Graham said “put some serious investment into helping solve the grey squirrel problem – grey squirrels will damage planted trees, they will damage naturally regenerated trees, they damage a wide array of our native species and they they fundamentally frustrate the ‘woody economy’ from being the the brilliant, sustainable industry that it can be.”

Watch all twelve policy suggestions in our five minute film:

Find out more about woodland management and Graham’s work in forestry in part nine of ‘Wood for the Trees,’ on youtube.

For more information about the series visit

See the next suggestion:

8. Implement a carbon tax to incentivise local production


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