The Our Forests ginger group met for the second time in London earlier today.

Our Forests ginger group, July 2011. Left to right: Richard Daniels, Gabriel Hemery, Tony Juniper, Hen Anderson, Jonathon Porritt, Rod Leslie, Robin Maynard.

We are planning a number of interventions over the coming months in response to the Government’s review of forestry policy and the public forest estate in England.  Read more

Following a very fruitful meeting, we posed for a group photograph.

Gabriel Hemery


  1. First of all congratulations on setting this group up the official one does seem to be the usual suspects, the debate needs more stimulation. In the same spirit, may I pose some questions to the group?

    How do the different members feel about aspects of Forestry Commission England stewardship of the public forests:

    * The lack of commitment to restore all planted ancient woodland sites?
    * The fact that clearfelling is so widely used – (resulting in some 25 square kilometres of “restocking” per year), rather than more natural “continuous cover” approaches?
    * The fact that about 75% of replanting of these felled areas is with another rotation of exotic conifers?
    * The continued use of herbicides and pesticides, abandoned in other countries?

    (Note: it would be useful to know the actual clearfelled area, rather than using “restocking” as a proxy, but the statistic does not seem to be available.)

  2. Good work all. Can I draw your attention to a specific case? Oaken Wood Kent needs help to survive. 33 hectares woodland, some designated ancient, threatened by quarry extension. KCC gave planning consent despite PPS9 on May 10th, but it’s a “departure” from local mineral plan. Thus Sec of State Pickles is deciding to ‘call in’ or not. He says he will decide by end July. Can any of you please help? Woodland Trust have campaign details, Kent Wildlife Trust have the eco surveys on their site. 6 species bats, 36 species birds breeding, 35 ancient wood indicator plants and more.

    1. Author

      Thanks Steve
      You may want to bring this to the attention of the media in readiness for the forthcoming visit of the Independent Forestry Panel to Kent as I imagine that this may be a real embarrassment to Government officials.
      For readers who don’t know much about this you can read more here.

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