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


4 thoughts on “Public ready to rise up again if Government fails them over public woods & forests

  1. I hope the panel and Government will reject any significant sale of forests. However I would be interested to know why the supporters of the forests listed above are so keen on confirming forever the centralised monolithic conifer and clearfelling dominated FC. The alternative might have been a vibrant responsive new mix of local trusts and organisations dedicated to local community led environmentally sensitive management of their much loved forests. These groups have arisen, I’m wondering if they might have the self confidence to ask for the right to manage the forests themselves?
    I hope the Panel and the Government may yet have the courage to propose and debate a radical change.

  2. Unfortunately the government had intentions of selling the forests to the biomass industry to power their energy generating stations that the government allowed them to build.

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