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tial raw material Great Britain depends to an undesirable extent on overseas supplies. There is no sort of certainty, but rather the reverse, that these supplies will always be available at reasonable prices. The home woods are in a thoroughly unsatisfactory condition following the war fellings and changes in ownership, and relatively slow progress is being made in reconstructing them. In particular, the replanting of hardwoods (e.g., oak) has almost ceased. If the position is to be put right it must be mainly by State action. On the other hand there are large areas of derelict woodland and unproductive bare land well suited for timber production and the Commissioners now have useful experience in conducting large scale planting operations. In connection with forestry operations a substantial contribution can be made towards land settlement by installing forest workers in holdings.

Finance.

The balance remaining in the Forestry Fund at 30th September, 1925, was £402,661. Payments into the Fund amounted to £457,341, and out of the Fund to £608,066. The balance in the Fund at the end of the year was consequently £251,936, a decrease of £150,725 over the corresponding figure for the previous year.

Out of the total amount of £3 millions due to be paid into the Forestry Fund, under the Forestry Act, 1919, before the 31st March, 1929, £2,369,000 had been paid to the 30th September, 1926, leaving £1,131,000 still to be provided. Adding to this some £252,000 in hand at the 30th September, 1926, and estimating the net receipts from operations at £300,000 there should be available for gross payments over the 2 years to run from 30th September, 1926, to 31st March, 1929, a sum of £1,683,000, equivalent to an average gross expenditure of £673,000 per

annum.

It is estimated that if the forest workers' holding programme is to be carried out some £200,000 in excess of the £3 million will be required, the total expenditure on forest workers' holdings being estimated at £336,500.

It will be observed that the total payments by the Commissioners are steadily growing. This is inevitable with an expanding programme. By the tenth year the gross outlay will be running at the rate of approximately £838,000 per annum. Against this it is estimated that receipts which are now averaging about £120,000 per annum will then be about £154,000 per annum in the tenth year, so that the net outlay will be at the rate of approximately £684,000 per annum.

Land Acquisition.

Acquisitions during the year amounted to 69,274 acres, of which 36,450 acres were classified as plantable. Acquisitions to the end of the forest year 1926 are compared in the table below with the proposals of the Acland Report. The total area of plantable land acquired to the 30th September,

1926, amounted to 214,083 acres, or 30,717 acres less than the proposed area.

The problem of securing sufficient plantable land is a constant preoccupation for the Commissioners. In order to meet the demands of the expanding planting programme and to ensure that there shall be continuity of work for forest workers placed on holdings and also for valid technical reasons, it is essential to hold a much larger area of plantable land than would appear necessary at first sight.

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Note. In addition, 4,866 acres were acquired in Ireland to 31st March, 1922.

(A) STATE FORESTS.

Planting Programme.

Conifers. The progress made in the realisation of the 150,000acre programme is shown in the table below. The area planted. during the year was 17,997 acres, compared with 20,000 acres under the Acland Programme and 18,400 acres under the Commissioners' revised programme. The total to the end of the year was 68,193 acres, compared with 70,000 acres for the Acland Programme and 70,300 for the revised programme.

Taking into account the area of land now available for planting and the probable course of acquisition for the next two years, it is estimated that the Commissioners will plant over the whole 10-year period, approximately 135,000 acres of conifers, which will leave them 15,000 acres short of the 150,000acre programme. The check imposed on the Commissioners in the planting seasons 1922-23 and 1923-24, when (in the interest of national economy) the planting programme was not expanded, but kept at approximately 10,000 acres, is responsible, in part, for the shortage. Shortage of acquisitions, as explained above, has also played a part. That is in itself due to the same cause, namely, the artificial check experienced in the fourth and fifth years.

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Note.-Owing to a re-survey the figures in respect of the area planted in the seasons 1919-25 have been reduced by 250 acres.

In addition to the areas indicated above, 1,697 acres were planted in Ireland to 31st March, 1922.

Broad-leaved Species.-No definite programme has been laid down for the 10-year period. The areas actually planted in

Great Britain are:

1919-20
1920-21
1921-22
1922-23
1923-24

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1924-25
1925-26

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It is estimated that the total area which will be planted with hardwoods in the 10-year period will be approximately 4,000 acres. This is additional to the few hundred acres which are in process of regeneration by natural means in the former Crown Woods.

Total. The total area planted to date is 70,816 acres and this added to the estimate for the remaining three years gives a figure of 139,000 acres for the 10-year period.

(B) ASSISTANCE TO LOCAL AUTHORITIES AND PRIVATE OWNERS.

The area proposed, under the Acland Report, to be afforested or replanted by local authorities and private owners with State. assistance during the 10 years was 110,000 acres, or an average of 11,000 acres per annum.

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Of this area, 50,000 acres were to be covered by grants for replanting, 25,000 acres by grants for afforestation, 10,000 acres by loans for planting and replanting and 25,000 acres by proceeds-sharing schemes. No annual programme was laid

down.

No progress has been made in promoting afforestation by loan, and proceeds-sharing schemes have been restricted to two examples. On the other hand, considerable progress has been made in securing afforestation and replanting by means of grants, both for unemployment relief and normal work. The table below indicates the amount of work carried out by means of grants.

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The above table shows the areas in respect of which grants have been paid. Recipients of grants for preparation for planting" undertook to plant up without payment of a further grant. The area planted will consequently exceed 55,000 acres. The following planting work has also been done in connection with two proceeds-sharing schemes initiated by the Development Commissioners :

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It is estimated that the total area which will be planted by local authorities and private owners in the 10-year period with the assistance, in one form or another, of the Commissioners will be approximately 75,000 acres.

TOTAL PLANTING EFFORT, 1919-29.

In view of what has been said previously in this Report with regard to the reconstruction of the woods of the country, it may be interesting to forecast the probable planting effort for the first ten years of the Commission's existence. The figures

may be summarised as follows, the most doubtful item being the area planted without State assistance:

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The probable total result, namely, 239,000 acres of conifers and hardwoods, is 8 per cent. less than that which the Acland Committee put forward for conifers only.

Education and Research.

There have been no changes in the organisation and course of this work. The experimental and research work which has been carried on steadily since 1920 is gradually yielding results which from time to time are put into practice. Not only has this work, which was necessarily of a preliminary character to begin with, defined more clearly the nature of the problems to be dealt with in large-scale afforestation operations but it has also indicated the solution of some major problems. A case in point is the planting of molinia peats which cover a large area in the North of England and in Scotland.

Forest Workers' Holdings.

The systematic formation of forest workers' holdings was begun in the summer of 1924, and had therefore been running for rather less than two and a half years at the end of the year under review. Up to September 30th, 1926, 186 had been completed (125 in the year under review), and 174 were in process of formation. It is estimated that 750 holdings will be completed or in process of establishment by the end of the 10th year (1929). This work is capable of considerable development and the number of holdings could be increased to 3,000 or 4,000 in the succeeding 10-year period.

Distribution of Expenditure.

It may be of interest to give some indication of the relative amounts of money which are being spent on different objects. Reference to Table II, p. 15, shows that the Commissioners' expenditure is accounted for under 11 separate Sub-heads, lettered A to L. Of these A, B, C and D are in connection with the staff and administration of the Commission, while the remainder are incurred on specific operations.

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