Forests for sale?

Yes we are worried – and Yes we’re campaigning, but not publically… yet!

** UPDATE ** December 23rd: Read our campaigning statement and get the Trust’s view from our latest press statement on this.

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.

Several petitions were swiftly started, between them gathering signatures from hundreds of thousands of concerned people and they are still growing in numbers. Online, views were made clear in the hundreds of comments left on articles, blog posts, Facebook pages and Tweets. As the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity we were inundated at once with emails and calls from people who wanted to know if we’d heard the news and whether or not it was true. And then, what we were doing about it? Truth is, at that point – the answer was not much when it came to public-facing campaigning. 
Could England’s public forests be at risk?

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…

About Kaye Brennan

Senior Campaigner (Policy & Advocacy) for the Woodland Trust and Administrator, 'Woodland Matters' blog
This entry was posted in Campaigning, Climate Change, England, Government Affairs, Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites (PAWS), Woods Under Threat and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Forests for sale?

  1. Pingback: Woods are worth repeating yourself for «

  2. carol says:

    Please leave us something worthwhile in this country, Everything else of value has been taken and in these very dificult times people need somewhere to go that provides peace and quiet that can be accessed without having to pay extortionate fees for, especially those with young children.

  3. ailsa wish says:

    We are appalled and dismayed about the proposals to dispose of ancient woodland for the paltry yield it would return to government funds.
    In my lifetime I cannot think of a single issue that is more important for conservation of the Environment.
    This is utter madness!

Sorry, comments are closed as we have moved to a new site: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blogs/woodland-trust/

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s