Carbon blinkers and policy blindness: The difficulties of 'Growing Our Woodland in Wales'

Sophie Wynne-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (SciVal)


The need for climate change mitigation has led to a recent upsurge in policies aimed to deliver re-afforestation across the globe, but with mixed successes observed depending upon the levels of private land ownership and ability of governments to engage land managers. This paper evaluates a new government-led scheme in Wales, which is intended to increase woodland cover from 14% to 20% by 2030 to offset the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. As the scheme is primarily intended to promote woodland creation on farms, the analysis of the paper focusses upon the question of how to incentivise farmers, and the reasons why difficulties have been experienced engaging land owners in the scheme. Whilst a number of recommendations are made from this policy evaluation, the paper also demonstrates that key lessons have not been applied from existing literature on farmers’ behaviour and environmental scheme uptake, and that policy makers are not integrating practice across departmental divisions. As such, the paper suggests that the new focus on carbon sequestration has acted as a distraction to the development of a more robust governance strategy that builds on previous successes and failures in agri-environment policy.

► Analysis of re-afforestation policy in Wales as an example of a carbon-mitigation strategy. ► Evaluation of how farmers can be engaged in woodland creation to deliver ecosystem services and offset greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. ► Evaluation of how EU Rural Development Funding can be used to support agroforestry and farm business diversification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-260
Number of pages11
JournalLand Use Policy
Early online date07 Dec 2012
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2013


  • carbon-governance
  • farmers' behaviour
  • agro-forestry
  • farm diversification


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