A chance to keep the promise made for your forests.

Amid all the focus on the European and local elections and media preoccupation with the rise of UKIP, its easy to forget that we’re only a few days away from the last Queen’s Speech of this Parliament. It takes place on June 4th and will set out the remainder of the Coalition’s legislative programme. The Woodland Trust, like others, believes that it should involve a Forestry Bill putting into law the Government’s fine words on the future of the Public Forest Estate in England.

Image: WTPL

Believe it or not, it was back at the beginning of 2011 that the famous U-turn on sales plans took place. There’s been no shortage of consultation since then and the latest step was the publication of ten ‘guiding principles’ at the start of this year and a promise to legislate “as soon as Parliamentary time allows”. The last year in Parliament has not been notable for the amount of legislation being passed. In fact some political commentators have suggested MPs haven’t had enough to do. So we believe its time that Government brought forth a Bill that places our public forests on a sustainable footing for the future.

Thanks to your support, this message has been conveyed to over 80% of all the MPs in Parliament. In parrallel to this we’re part of a strong coalition of forestry stakeholders who have sent an open letter to the Prime Minister in support of a Forestry Bill. Save our Woods, Our Forests, Ramblers, The Wildlife Trusts, ConFor, 38 Degrees and members of the Forest Campaigns Network all signed our letter which was published in the Telegraph, adding even further weight to the call for moving forward. We will all be watching carefully on June 4th to see what emerges.

As we’re sure you’ll agree, wouldn’t it be great if the last months of this Parliament saw minds there focusing on the importance of forests and all that they deliver to society? It would tee things up well for the General Election when the parties set out their visions for the future. Visions which we believe need to address woods and trees because they are so relevant to some of the great policy challenges of our age.

Dr James Cooper, head of government affairs

About Kaye Brennan

Senior Campaigner (Policy & Advocacy) for the Woodland Trust and Administrator, 'Woodland Matters' blog
This entry was posted in Climate Change, Government Affairs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to A chance to keep the promise made for your forests.

  1. Clive Coles says:

    Well … we didn’t get a new Forestry Bill in the Queen’s Speech ~ when you see the far reaching provisions of the new Infrastructure Bill, that gets it’s second reading in the House of Lords next week, perhaps we can understand why.

    Our Public Forests are again at risk. The so called Spelman U-turn is turning full circle.

    Interestingly the proposed Infrastructure Bill excluded Crown Estate Land from fast track land acquisition and development. Surely our Forests should be afforded similar protection.

  2. Paul says:

    Yet again we have been stitched up by this government. Waiting for another Government surely cannot be the answer. They were embarrassed before, isn’t it time we set about doing it again?

  3. Derek West says:

    The next Government could be a UKIP Tory coalition,what hope then?.

    • matt derrington says:

      Or Hell could freeze over, taking all chainsaws and cement mixers out of action, thereby solving the problem of greed, stupidity and deforestation

  4. Peter Kyte says:

    We all need to keep the pressure on this government and if they are not re-elected then the next one.

  5. matt derrington says:

    If that lot in Westminster really are short of legislative work, yet can’t be bothered to pass a bill about something as fundamental as trees, then we will all know for sure where their priorities lie, how disconnected they are from reality, and how urgently they need to be made an ill of the past.

  6. sherwoodforestcommunityvision says:

    Reblogged this on Sherwoodforestcommunityvision’s Blog and commented:
    A historic chance for govt to protect our forest.

  7. Tim says:

    Being in Wales, I hate the reference to England only and not to the UK as a whole. These issues are national and we need to be a single voice for the whole country. Devolution in Wales has not helped the cause.

    • Kaye Brennan says:

      It’s only because this Bill is about England’s forest estate, Tim – happily forests aren’t under the same cloud in other parts of the UK but it’s true the learnings from this situation should inform the way our public forests are valued, cared for and manged right across the UK.

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