It’s 67 days till Christmas. That’s not long to buy the turkey, wrap the presents and find that elusive gift for the mother-in-law. So imagine being in Defra and Forestry Commission’s shoes, gathering together the ‘conversations’ after the Forests Report and preparing the advice on the direction to take for England’s woods and trees. And working this backwards from the January deadline, recommendations will need to be with ministers in around 45 days!
We have been very pleased that the Trust has been given opportunities to help shape the next steps for our forest’s future. Our recent series of blogs is our way of sharing what we are discussing as part of the ‘conversations’ that have been taking place.
But this is not enough because we do not assume that our answer is the only answer. The ‘thing’ that motivates each individual one of us about our local wood or favourite tree is complex and highly personal. That is why people-power shook the ground from beneath the feet of Government and clearly showed how much, collectively, we value woods and trees. It is only fair to ensure those same people are actively brought into the ‘conversations’ from which decisions will be made. And just like a looming Christmas eve – we are running out of time!
A recent blog article on Save Our Woods gave a clear message from Defra and the Forestry Commission that “No firm decisions have yet been made on any of the Panel’s recommendations”. The keyword is “yet”!
So let’s make this simple. Send a quick, clear and personal message to Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for the Environment via Defra, saying what should be next for forests. Ask him to adopt the recommendations in the Forests Report as a whole while telling him your ideas too. This way you too can also help to shape the action plan needed after January 2013.
We all appreciate there are practicalities to work out and details required like targets and timescales for many recommendations. But Owen has been handed a well thought-out, feasible framework that all agree has real potential to give a future to England’s trees, woods and forests.
Don’t miss the chance to really take the fight of a future for our trees and woods all the way into reality. It’s time to “Tell Owen”…