About the Centre for Forest Protection

Defra is funding the creation of a new Centre for Forest Protection (CFP) as part of the England Trees Action Plan, which will be jointly led by Forest Research and Kew.

Work on the concept for the Centre has been progressing throughout 2021/21 by a small project team, made up of staff from FR and Kew. This work culminated in a workshop held at Kew in November 2021, which agreed the following:

CFP Mission
To protect the future of our forests, woodlands and trees from environmental and socio-economic threats, through the provision of innovative science, interdisciplinary research, expert advice and training – across the UK and internationally.

CFP Vision
A unique hub and collaborative platform led by Forest Research and Kew that brings together tree health expertise from the UK and the rest of the world, in the joint creation of knowledge and research to protect and enhance the future health and resilience of our forests and woodlands and trees.

The impacts the Centre would like to achieve include: 

  • A dynamic and productive environment that supports Defra and the UK governments' policy ambitions, in terms of forest and tree strategies and planting programmes, by providing the science and evidence base to secure the successful establishment and increased resilience of forests and woodlands in the UK.
  • Enhanced capacity and capability in forest and tree health research.
  • High quality innovative science, interdisciplinary research, collaboration.
  • Effective knowledge exchange, outreach, and education and training programmes.

The Centre for Forest Protection will create a dynamic and productive environment generating high quality innovative science, interdisciplinary research and knowledge exchange. It will:

  • Undertake novel, big picture, horizon-scanning and risk analysis to identify the new and unforeseen threats that will face the new kinds of treescapes being developed through England Tree Planting Programme and beyond.
  • Facilitate partnership working and the delivery of multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary projects.
  • Build scientific capacity and capability and the next generation of tree health scientists.
  • Create a network of specialists and resources that can be drawn upon to provide a rapid and effective response to threats to forests and trees.
  • Provide dedicated education and training to help prepare for and tackle future biosecurity challenges.
  • Provide policy-relevant outputs and support the sharing of knowledge and evidence.
  • Adopt transformative use of new science such as genomics, pioneering new techniques and approaches to build resilience in treescapes.
  • Use the draw of high-quality facilities and expertise to attract high-calibre UK and international collaboration in forest and tree health research.