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Posts tagged ‘forestry’

Deep in close-to-nature forestry

October 4, 2012

Gabriel Hemery

Originally posted on The New Sylva:

Earlier this week the authors visited Stourhead (Western) Estate in Wiltshire to study and draw a treescape in one of Britain’s most progressively-managed woodlands.

Thanks to the support of owner Nick Hoare, and his forestry consultant David Pengelly of Canopy Land Use, the authors were allowed full access to some of the areas of the large wooded estate where close-to-nature forestry is practiced.

It was stunning to see 100-year-old Douglas fir towering over multitudes of other broadleaved and conifer species of all sizes. Rain showers provided a challenge for Sarah but the raising of a tarpaulin allowed her to continue to work even as the drizzle turned to a downpour.

Our thanks to Nick Hoare and David Pengelly.

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Trees are in our blood

July 4, 2012

Gabriel Hemery

Our Forests member Jonathon Porritt, explains why he thinks it is that we love our forests and trees so much we are willing to fight to protect them. Watch the film.

Our Forests responds to IPF report

July 4, 2012

Gabriel Hemery

Our Forests has issued a short response to the Independent Panel on Forestry’s report issued earlier today.

Robin Maynard, coordinator, Our Forests said,

“The Panel’s report offers reassurance on many, but not all, of the concerns of Our Forests and the many grassroots campaigners and forest community groups who stood up for their patch of our public woods and forests – forcing the Government to halt its disposal plans.
It is particularly welcome to see our number one demand endorsed by the Panel – namely, full and lasting protection for our public woods and forests – in their proposal that the Public Forest Estate be held in trust for the nation under a new public ‘Charter’. Yet despite making several references and citing strong evidence as to the tremendous ‘value for money’ of the Public Forest Estate in delivering public goods and services, some worrying language has slipped in – bearing the hallmark of the free-market ideologues in the Cabinet Office and Treasury.”

The response reviews in outline how the recommendations of the panel may meet the six demands put to Government by Our Forests.

Our Forests view on independent panel on forestry reportRead the statement from Our Forests

Independent Panel on Forestry report published

IPF final report July 2012
IPF final report July 2012

Download the full IPF final report July 2012

The much heralded report by the Independent Panel on Forestry on the future of forestry in England was released this morning. It is anticipated that the Government will take until January 2013 to consider the Panel’s recommendations and that the suspension on sales of public forests will be extended until it publishes its response. Caroline Spelman, Secretary of State for the Environment, will be issuing a written statement later this morning.

Here’s a quick summary of the central messages:

A woodland culture for the 21st century

  • Urge society as a whole to value woodlands for the full range of benefits they bring. We call on Government to pioneer a new approach to valuing and rewarding the management, improvement and expansion of the woodland ecosystems for all the benefits they provide to people, nature and the green economy.
  • Government and other woodland owners to give as many people as possible ready access to trees and woodlands for health and well-being benefits – this means planting more trees and woodlands closer to people and incentivising more access to existing woodlands.
  • Ensure that land-use creates a coherent and resilient ecological network at a landscape scale, by integrating policy and delivery mechanisms for woods, trees and forests in line with the principles in the  “Making Space for Nature” report, published by the Lawton Review.
  • Urge Government, woodland owners and businesses to seize the opportunity provided by woodlands to grow our green economy, by strengthening the supply chain, and promoting the use of wood more widely across our society and economy. These and other actions should be set out in a Wood Industry Action Plan

Making the vision a reality – the role of our national forestry organisations

  • Propose that the public forest estate should remain in public ownership, and be defined in statute as land held in trust for the nation. A Charter should be created for the English public forest estate, to be renewed every ten years. The Charter should specify the public benefit mission and statutory duties, and should be delivered through a group of Guardians, or Trustees, who will be accountable to Parliament.  The Guardians will oversee the new public forest management organisation evolved from Forest Enterprise England urge Government to ensure that the new organisational landscape makes specific provision  for international and cross-border arrangements, working closely with the devolved Parliaments on sustainable multi-benefit forestry implementation, research and in the international arena.

In the Introduction to the report the chair of the panel Bishop James Jones wrote some of the most eloquent words about our forests and woods that I have read in a long while:

Our forests and woods are nature’s playground for the adventurous, museum for the curious, hospital for the stressed, cathedral for the spiritual, and a livelihood for the entrepreneur. They are a microcosm of the cycle of life in which each and every part is dependent on the other; forests and woods are the benefactor of all, purifying the air that we breathe and distilling the water of life. In short, trees are for life.

Bishop James Jones, Chair, Independent Panel on Forestry. July 4th 2012

The ginger group Our Forests will be releasing a statement later today.

Gabriel Hemery

Other resources related to the IPF Report

Our Forests campaign posters

June 29, 2012

Gabriel Hemery

For everyone for ever - download poster

Our Forests has produced a series of posters free for anyone to use in publicising the issues critical in securing the people’s vision for the future of woods and forests in England.

The posters reiterate and emphasize our six simple demands for Government:

  1. Our woods & forests protected forever!
  2. National support for a national resource
  3. No sales until public woods safe
  4. Stop chopping the Forestry Commission
  5. Public Forest Estate – Double it!
  6. Good management for all woods

Read more about Our Forests

Gabriel Hemery

Public ready to rise up again if Government fails them over public woods & forests

June 27, 2012

Gabriel Hemery

Our Forests

The Independent Panel on Forestry is due to publish its report and recommendations to Government on the future of our public woods and forests (the Public Forest Estate), the Forestry Commission and England’s woodland and forestry policy in general on Wednesday, 4th July.

Our Forests has been in contact with many of those groups who share our concerns and who have signed up to the following public statement, which has today been put to Government and sent out to all 171 Members of Parliament that have public woods and forests within their constituencies:

“We believe that public ownership of the Public Forest Estate must be secured, through new legislation. The rich cultural, historical and natural diversity of our forests and woods, and full access to them, is best protected under the continued stewardship of the Forestry Commission, fully resourced to sustainably manage and expand our multi-purpose Public Forest Estate now and in the future.”

This statement has been fully endorsed by the following grassroot campaigns:


The Our Forests ginger group recently conducted a national survey together with 38 Degrees. Just under 90% of those responding said they would campaign against the Government if their concerns about and hopes for England’s public woods and forests are not met. Read the Survey summary.

Rich Daniels, Our Forests member and chair of Hands Off Our Forest said:

”It would seem political suicide to do so, but the evidence on record from Parliament is that the Government could put significant areas of public woods and forests back on the market. If they go against the public will on this issue, they can expect a conflagration in constituencies across England. It would be unwise for Government to think that the sale of any significant part of OUR public Forests and woods would pass without reigniting the flames of protest in the hearts of people and forest communities across England. The prospect of any our public woods and forests being threatened again after we have fought so hard to protect them will be met with even more determined campaigning.”

Our Forests press release 27 June 2012Read the full press release

Our Forests 38 Degrees survey results summaryRead the Survey summary.

Read more about Our Forests

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