I was interviewed for the BBC TV programme Newsnight to discuss the implications of the Government’s plans to dispose of the public forest estate in England. The programme will be broadcast this evening.
The venue for my interview was Hainault Forest in Essex. This was an interesting choice by the BBC as the site is leased by the Woodland Trust from the London Borough of Redbridge. The site has a brutal history as the forest land, just a tiny fragment of the once magnificent Forest of Essex, was condemned as waste by an Act of Parliament in 1851. Both trees and deer were culled and the land divided up for building lots for an expanding London. After a vigorous public campaign 330 hectares of land, which included 100 hectares of woodland and grassland, was bought for public use in 1906. I walked to the forest from Hainault tube station, through the London suburbs, heading towards its distant dome of trees. I had a short time to explore (and get briefly lost!) among the wonderful ancient oaks and pollarded hornbeams.
Listen to the 10 minute interview [mp3 format]
Note that this is my own recording and an unabridged version of the interview, which will differ from the edited version broadcast by the BBC.
|Missed it?For seven days only you can watch the TV programme
on the BBC website. Skip to 26:04 minutes to watch the forestry film.