Julie Urquhart joins UK Government Scientific Advisory Group for Trees and Woodlands

CCRI’s Dr Julie Urquhart has been appointed to the newly formed Trees and Woodlands Scientific Advisory Group (TAW-SAG), established to provide expert scientific input to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to inform the England tree planting programme.

The England tree planting programme is the Government’s ambitious plan for increasing tree planting rates to 30,000 hectares per year across the UK from 2025, to help reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Trees and Woodlands Scientific Advisory Group will provide balanced scientific advice to the Government, ensuring Defra receives input from a wide range of scientific experts and disciplines, to ensure that the tree planting programme supports carbon sequestration, together with goals for nature recovery and benefits for people.

Speaking of the recent appointment, Dr Urquhart, Associate Professor in Environmental Social Science said: ‘I’m delighted to join Defra’s Trees and Woodlands Scientific Advisory Group. This is an exciting opportunity to help support the Government’s plans for tree expansion by ensuring that it is informed by the best scientific evidence. This is an important moment for trees, woods and forests in the UK, and it is important that such large-scale expansion is underpinned by the best evidence to ensure that, along with contributing to meeting net zero targets, our future treescapes can better support biodiversity, provide societal benefits such as timber and places for recreation, and reflect the cultural values that we attach to trees.’

Dr Urquhart has an established track record of interdisciplinary research on trees, woods and forests. She is also Ambassador of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future of UK Treescapes Programme, a £1.4M programme of research funded by Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra), Welsh Government, Scottish Government and the Forestry Commission.

You can follow Julie on Twitter @geogjulie.