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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the occasions on which the Thames Barrier has been
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closed in each year since its inception; and what estimate she has made of the number of occasions when it will be closed in (a) 2010, (b) 2020, (c) 2050 and (d) 2100. 
Mr. Morley: The Thames Barrier is closed to protect London from high water levels in the River Thames. These high water levels result from tidal surge conditions in combination with high freshwater flows following rainfall over the Thames catchment. The Barrier closures may be characterised as predominantly tidal-influenced (T) or predominantly rainfall/fluvial-influenced (F). Since inception, the Thames Barrier has been closed to prevent flooding during the winter flood season (generally October to April) on 92 occasions as follows:
|200506 (to date)||1||0||1|
The lower figure for each year indicates the best predicted outcome based on lowest climate change scenario impacts and maximum use of flood management mitigation measures implemented from 2030 (shown by *). The higher figure for each year indicates the worst potential outcome based on maximum climate change predicted impacts with no additional flood management mitigation measures implemented from 2030.
The Environment Agency is currently planning for the future of flood risk management within the Thames Estuary. For this purpose, it has established a project called Thames Estuary 2100 based at the Thames Barrier. The purpose of the project is to produce a flood risk management plan for the tidal part of the Thames Estuary covering the next 100 years.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the percentage tree cover in each EU member state was (a) on the latest date for which figures are available, (b) 10 years ago and (c) 20 years ago. 
The need to maintain, and improve where necessary, the health and vitality of trees is integral to the Government's approach to sustainable forest
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management. We have set this out in the UK Forestry Standard and its supporting literature, which contain many specific measures for protecting woodland and improving tree health. All woodland management by the Forestry Commission is consistent with this standard and we expect private woodland owners that receive grant aid from the Forestry Commission to also meet the standard. The Government have encouraged the development of the voluntary UK Woodland Assurance Standard that provides an independent verification of compliance with good practice and measures to ensure the continuing good health of woodland. We shall continue to ensure compliance with the UK Forest Standard in those woods managed by the Forestry Commission and encourage it in the private sector.
We will also continue to improve, through research, our knowledge of factors affecting tree health and we shall maintain a vigilant guard against the establishment of non-native pests and diseases. For example, there is a determined effort, led by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Forestry Commission, to contain and eradicate the diseases of trees and shrubs caused by the pathogens Phytophthora ramorum and Phytophthora kernoviae.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total (a) area and (b) production in cubic metres of (i)broadleaf and (ii) coniferous woodland in England has been in each year since 1980, broken down by region. 
Jim Knight: A national woodland survey is carried out by the Forestry Commission at intervals of between 15 and 20 years. Comparative areas of woodland 1 in 1980 and 1998 were published in the latest National Inventory of Woodland and Trees, Regional Inventory reports. The figures are given in the table as follows.
|1980(8) thousand hectares||1998(9) thousand hectares|
|Yorkshire and the|
|East of England||59.4||40.7||90.2||37.5|
|Removals in million cubic metres overbark|
|Hardwoods (from broadleafed trees)||Softwood (from conifer trees)|
1 Based on figures published in Forestry Facts and Figures for 198094, adjusted to consistent definition. Later figures for private sector removals estimated from a GB survey for 200004 and interpolated.
2 Figures for 2004 are currently provisional.
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