Yes we are worried – and Yes we’re campaigning, but not publically… yet!
Your chance to influence the Coalition’s decision is approaching.
Shocking news burst our peaceful Sunday bubble recently, as the Guardian and several other newspapers announced that Defra were considering the mass sale of at least half of the public forest estate.
The Trust has always done a lot of lobbying and influencing work at all levels of government around environmental policy strategy, right across the UK. Our ongoing work behind the scenes can help us to make reasoned, balanced reactions to headlines like the ones we have been seeing over the past few weeks. The press were reporting a scenario that could have been one of a number which might yet emerge. It’s been a very busy few weeks as the story has unfolded with more detail. We know there will be disposals of forest land – the question is how much, what kind and where will the money end up?
We have long been concerned about what the future might hold for woods and forests in public ownership, especially planted ancient woodland sites which need urgent restoration; if this happens it would make a massive contribution to improving the future for Britain’s woodland wildlife.
We anticipate seeing a concrete opportunity for the public to really influence those decisions through formal consultation in the New Year. Using official vehicles we can send our supporter’s thoughts and views straight to the heart of government – in fact our “Dear DEFRA” campaign, which ended recently, did just that.
This does not mean the Trust is complacent about the future of the forest estate. Rest assured though, when the time comes to take action on this we’ll be right on it! We’ll look forward to having you with us – it looks like the UK’s woods and trees will need a voice that is louder than ever…