Devices with screens include game consoles, laptops and televisions. Screen use refers to activities undertaken on such devices and the time spent on them. Children’s screen use has increased over the past decade. Policy-makers and parents have expressed concerns about possible effects of screen use on children/young people’s development and health. This POSTnote provides an overview of how children/young people use screens, the opportunities and risks of this use, evidence on the possible effects on health and development, and evidence on ways to support healthy screen use.
Documents to download
Woodland creation (442 KB, PDF)
Growing trees draw carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and store some of this carbon in wood and in the soil. Although there are concerns that woodland creation could distract from the need to reduce emissions, increasing tree cover is one of the few proven methods of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and can deliver other benefits. The UK Government has an overarching commitment to create 30,000 hectares (ha) of woodland per year by 2025, and the devolved administrations have their own woodland creation targets, strategies and grant schemes.
Different stakeholders have differing objectives when creating woodland, which influence decisions on where woodland should be created, how it should be established, and what tree species should be included. Although the rate of woodland creation is increasing, UK targets during the past decade have been missed due to economic, land tenure, values and financing challenges.
- Creating new woodland is widely agreed to be necessary for the UK to meet its 2050 net zero greenhouse gas emissions target.
- All woodlands have the potential to take up and store CO2, produce timber, enhance biodiversity and deliver other benefits, including recreation and reduced flooding.
- The amount of CO2 taken up and other benefits or negative effects of woodland creation depend on where and how woodland is established, tree species present, site conditions and management.
- Constraints on woodland creation include economic viability, land tenure, cultural values, permanence of land use change and environmental sensitivities.
- Incentives for woodland creation include government grants and carbon payments. Support could be increased through private finance for multiple environmental benefits.
POSTnotes are based on literature reviews and interviews with a range of stakeholders and are externally peer reviewed. POST would like to thank interviewees and peer reviewers for kindly giving up their time during the preparation of this briefing, including:
Alisha Anstee, National Farmers Union*
Caroline Ayre, Confor*
Patrick Begg, National Trust*
Dr Tom Bradfer-Lawrence, RSPB
Dr Mark Broadmeadow, Forestry Commission*
Dr Graeme Buchanan, RSPB
Dr Paul Burgess, Cranfield University
Dr Eduard Campillo-Funolle, University of Sussex*
Graham Clarke, Country Land and Business Association
Prof David Coomes, University of Cambridge*
Dr Tom Curtis, 3Keel
Ian Danby, British Association for Shooting and Conservation
John Deakin, National Trust*
Jamie Dewhurst , J & A Growers
Dr Rob Field, RSPB
Dr Tom Finch, RSPB
Prof Christine Foyer, Birmingham Institute of Forest Research
Dr Alessandro Gimona, James Hutton Institute*
Ashley Hardaker, Bangor University
Dr Eleanor Harris, Confor*
Dr Gabriel Hemery, Sylva Foundation*
Dr Paul Jepson, Ecosulis
Dr Keith Kirby, University of Oxford*
Dr Alastair Leake, Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust
Simon Lloyd, Royal Forestry Society
Prof Robert Mackenzie, Birmingham Institute of Forest Research
Suma Mani, University of Sheffield
Dr Robert Matthews, Forest Research
Dr Mike Morecroft, Natural England*
Dr James Morison, Forest Research*
Stuart Morwood, Forest Service Northern Ireland
Dr Joanne Nightingale, National Physical Laboratory
Dr Rebecca Nohl, HM Treasury
Connie O’Neill, University of York
Paul Orsi, Sylva Foundation*
Prof Colin Osborne, University of Sheffield
Dr Tim Pagella, Bangor University*
Nick Phillips, Woodland Trust
Ben Raskin, Soil Association*
Prof Jonathan Scurlock, National Farmers Union*
Guy Shrubsole, Friends of the Earth*
Prof Pete Smith, University of Aberdeen*
Dr Pat Snowdon, Scottish Forestry
Phil Stocker, National Sheep Association
Duncan Stone, NatureScot*
Indra Thillainathan, Climate Change Committee*
Dr Amanda Thomson, Centre of Ecology and Hydrology
Jon Travis, Welsh Government
James Weber, University of Cambridge
Dr Rebecca Wrigley, Rewilding Britain
Alistair Yeomans, Plant Healthy
Malcolm Young, SAC Consulting
* denotes people and organisations who acted as external reviewers of the briefing
Documents to download
Woodland creation (442 KB, PDF)
This event will brief parliamentarians on the policy implications at all levels arising from the latest science focused on cryosphere (snow and ice) regions including climate negotiations at COP 26.
POST has published 20 COVID-19 Areas of Research Interest (ARIs) for the UK Parliament. ARIs were identified using the input of over 1,000 experts. They were then ranked in order of interest to UK Parliament research and select committee staff, following internal feedback. Each ARI comes with a series of questions aiming to further break down each broad area. The ARIs focus on the impacts of the global pandemic and range from economic recovery and growth, to surveillance and data collection, long-term mental health effects, education, vaccine development, and the NHS.