Following a detailed review of their operations, Forestry England propose closing Wykeham nursery in North Yorkshire to concentrate tree seedling production at their Delamere facilities in Cheshire. Closing the Wykeham site is proposed to take place in March 2022.
This has been a difficult decision, but there is a need to be efficient and ensured that they have a viable long-term supply of tree seedlings for the woodlands.
Although demand for trees is generally increasing across the UK forestry sector, and Forestry England expects to plant an additional 1 million trees each year from 2022, the demand for trees from Forestry England’s nurseries is set to reduce by more than 5 million plants from 2021 as public sector customers Natural Resources Wales and Forestry and Land Scotland buy their seedlings from private sector nurseries.
"Climate change is also starting to directly impact on nursery operations, and we need to modernise as well as scale up the production of a wider range of tree species which can thrive in a warmer, drier England of the future. Focusing their operations at their Delamere nursery will allow us to do that," they say.
Michael Seddon, Chief Executive said: "Our immediate priority is working with our team at Wykeham and putting every effort into helping them through this difficult time. We are aiming to redeploy as many colleagues as possible and minimise any redundancies. This will be a stressful time for everyone involved and we are determined to offer the support our staff need in the lead up to the nursery closing in April 2022.
“We will also be developing plans for investment in our glasshouse operations at Delamere and in our tree seed supply unit; we are very much looking to the future and supporting the Government’s ambitious plans for tree planting."
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