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Clinton Devon Estates staff appointed to two key forestry advisory positions

Two senior staff at Clinton Devon Estates have been appointed to two separate independent panels set-up to advise the government on forestry policy and regulation for England.

Estates Director John Varley has been appointed to the Forestry Advisory Panel and John Wilding, General Manager for Forestry and Environmental Economy for Clinton Devon Estates has been appointed to the Forestry Regulation Task Force.

John Varley is one of 12 members of the Forestry Advisory Panel which will make recommendations to the Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman in the Autumn on policy relating to public access, wildlife, conservation and sustainability. Other representatives are from the National Trust, the Forestry Commission, the Wildlife Trusts, the Institute of Chartered Foresters, the RSPB and the Ramblers Association.

Commenting on his appointment, John Varley said: I am keen that the true benefits of our forests, and cost to both the tax payer and the private sector, are clearly understood. I would like to promote an appreciation of how multi purpose forests can be delivered and how sound economics,  thoughtful investment and public engagement can come together in achieving sensible outcomes. At the end of the day its about what sort of woodlands people want and how this can be delivered.

Mr Varley added: We both bring a private sector perspective to the table and also ten years of working closely with the Forestry Commission in delivering our woodland objectives.

Clinton Devon Estates own and manage 1,900 hectares of woodland in East and North Devon, comprising a rich mixture of both commercial conifers and native broadleaved species; providing environmental, recreational and landscape benefits as well as producing a sustainable supply of timber for the wood processing industry.

Meanwhile John Wildings role on the Forestry Regulation Task Force will identify how regulations on forest-based business can be eased to enable them to become more profitable and commercially resilient in the future while maintaining a focus on low-carbon economy and biodiversity protection.

The Forestry Regulation Task Force, which comprises six members, will identify the most appropriate mechanisms to ensure the effective and efficient regulation of the forest and woodland sector.


About Clinton Devon Estates

Clinton Devon Estates is involved in farming, sustainable forestry and timber products, deer management and residential property. It has a portfolio of commercial property across the South West and provides one of the regions best equipped equestrian event venues at Bicton. It also owns commons at Woodbury which form the major part of the East Devon Pebblebed Heaths SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).

Clinton Devon Estates has been awarded the prestigious Queens Award for Enterprise in the category of Sustainable Development in 2005 and again in 2010, reflecting its commitment to conservation management through Countryside Stewardship Schemes and privately funded Estate led environmental initiatives.

The East Devon Pebblebed Heaths are managed by the Pebblebed Heaths Conservation Trust, a charity set up by Clinton Devon Estates to promote the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment of the Pebblebed Heaths and the Otter Estuary for the benefit of future generations.

The East Devon Pebblebed Heaths are located in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and have both UK and European designations, including a Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Protection Area (SPA) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).  

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