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Warnings over greenwashing

There are concerns that much of the UK's land could be bought up by companies for tree planting

Agricultural land in the UK is at risk of being forested over by conglomerates under the pretext of combating climate change, the UK’s farming minister has warned.

Farming minister Mark Spencer said that the UK has to take care not to let too much farmland be turned over to tree planting and other carbon-offsetting schemes for the sake of corporate “greenwashing”. He explained: “We need to be wary of what we’re using land for and we can’t allow that sort of greenwashing. If we’re not careful, Shell and British Airways will buy all the land in England and just plant trees on it to offset their carbon.”

Richard Negus, a professional hedge-layer, conservationist and ST contributor, said: “Corporate greenwashing is rife. It’s all about numbers for them. The trees and seeds are unsustainably sourced, the wrong trees are planted in the wrong places and they are not managed in a way that will see the forests last.

“Scientists and companies need to remove their carbon blinkers and engage forest practitioners at an earlier stage in planning.”

This story first appeared in Shooting Times, Britain’s oldest and best-selling shooting magazine. Published every Wednesday, the 141-year-old title has long been at the coalface of the countryside, breaking the stories that matter to you. Subscribe here.