Tommorow a major report will be released: The State of the UK’s Forests, Woods and Trees: Perspectives from the forestry and woodland sector. It marks the International Year of Forests in 2011. The report was featured in the Independent Newspaper today. The State of the UK’s Forests, Woods and Trees
On 27 January 2011 the Forestry Commission England and Defra opened a consultation on the future of the public forest estate in England (read more). The consultation was suspended after only three weeks, on 17 February 2011. In that short time, 7007 responses were received by members of the public.
Earlier this week The Independent newspaper published the winning essay about the future of forests in England. This was an open competition with an attractive £5000 prize that was announced in February, just before the Government scrapped plans to sell England’s publicly-owned forests. Read more. About 150 essays of 1500-2000
In principle there were some good ideas in what the Government sought to achieve by reviewing the ownership of England’s forests. The Forestry Commission are a great public organisation and achieve fantastic results for a relatively small cost to the taxpayer, although we should recognise that there is also room
I was interviewed for a programme on Deutsche Welle Radio to discuss the UK Government’s proposals to sell England’s publicly-owned forests.
Poll Results: 84% of visitors to my site believe that the State should own forests in England. The public consultation should ask “should we” as well as “how”.
Earlier today on Prime Minister’s Question Time, David Cameron was asked by Labour Leader Ed Miliband about his views on the public forest sale. Ed Miliband asked if the PM was happy about his “flagship policy on forestry”. Amidst laughs, Mr Cameron replied that the short answer was “no” adding
The large heritage forests are well defended but the actual frontline is the myriad of small woodlands dotted across England that will be precious only to local people
It seems that the Government is poised to climb down from the sale of the public forests of England
The future of the Public Forest Estate in England was debated for three hours in the House of Commons on 2nd February 2011. Here’s a simple link to the official record of the relevant section of the debate.
The Institute of Chartered Foresters have issued a holding position statement on the public forest estate disposal, and are working on canvassing members. The outcome will be a contribution of significant importance in the current debate.