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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:43 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:30 am
Posts: 788
Location: Exeter, Devon
If people are unaware of this, please sign petitions. The government are 'consulting' on the sell off of Forestry Commission forests to private buyers. This means that access to many woods would be lost to local communities & the wider public. The scary thing is that important habitat for birds & invertebrates would no longer be protected from commercial clearing. Thatcherism by any other name. If you care about woodland being kept in public hands (or at least, responsible hands), then please sign the petition on Woodland Trust's site & also 38 Degrees site; both trying to raise public awareness & funds for ads in newspapers. This consultation starts in a few days time. Jean


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:12 am
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Location: East Kent (VC 15)
I have signed the petition already.

Also, the consultation period has already begun, more info can be found here:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consu ... /index.htm

Dave

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:05 pm
Posts: 931
Location: Basingstoke, Hampshire
Hang on a minute, why are we panicking? There's a consultation period, to which all interested parties will contribute. There's been a load of scare-mongering in the press without firm foundation. From what I hear, any land that currently has public access will retain it as a condition of the disposal, and a lot of land will only be transferred into the hands of charities. Private owners will not have the de facto right to clear fell it or put a ten foot high fence around it, although commercial woodland will remain as such. Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust for one see this as an opportunity to get their hands on some FC land on heathland that is ripe for habitat enhancement. From what I hear in the conservation world, it's not as if FC were altogether brilliant at nature conservation - after all, they are at heart a commercial logging enterprise!

I'm sure there will be negatives in this, there always is, but there could also be a load of positives too. Just think it a little early to start panicking just yet - we don't even know what the proposal is until it is confirmed!

Mikke

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:15 pm 
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Location: Basingstoke, Hampshire
This was posted on hoslist today, which sums it up quite nicely:

"Many here may be interested in the reply I have received from my MP
(Steve Brine, Con.):

Further to our recent correspondence, a small group of MPs met last
night with Caroline Spelman and Jim Paice from DEFRA.

We all wanted to know what was the actual position and the
Government's intention following some of the hysterical reporting
(including I must say from 38 degrees) we have seen over the past few
weeks. I am sure you would agree that it is useful to have your local
MP speaking directly to the Secretary of State on these matters.

In short, I was looking for assurance that no decisions have been taken,
that there is no hidden agenda and how my constituents can make their
views heard as we go forward from here.

I was encouraged by the clear statement that this Government has a great
belief in our forests (both those in private ownership already and the
18% currently not) and the recognition that Ministers want to see
enhanced tree cover in England, including 1 million new trees planted by
the end of this Parliament. They made clear that no heritage forest
(including the New Forest of course) will be touched or even proposed to
be touched and said it was utterly the wrong assumption that any future
change in ownership of the 18% will move ownership into private hands.
They did also remind me that 25,000 acres of forest has been sold off in
the last 13 years which was a figure new to me.

Anyway, I think they key point is that, contrary to reports, no
decisions have been taken by Government and Ministers are now very aware
the MPs (including your own) are watching them like hawks on this
subject.

The Sec of State Caroline Spelman has today release a written statement
to Parliament which you can view via
http://ww2.defra.gov.uk/news/2011/01/27 ... s-forests/

This page contains the link to the consultation and I would urge you to
take part, it runs until 21 April.

The link to today's statement by Caroline Spelman is worth following.
It is somewhat reassuring, but will events will of course need watching
'like a hawk', as my MP says.."

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:13 pm
Posts: 531
Interesting this, looking at the proposals i cant really see anything that concerns me, although its good that the protests have put this subject into the public eye.It gives an opportunity for wildlife trusts and charities and individuals to purchase woods and manage them for wildlife and people, its a chance for everone to get involved eg; write an email to your wildlife trust to see what they are planning to do, i like the idea of local people getting together and buying and managing woodland although you could argue we already own this land as tax payers.
Steve.
I wonder how much an acre of woodland costs, depends on where it is and what trees it contains i suppose.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:16 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:30 am
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Location: Exeter, Devon
So much over-fast legislation has been rushed through by this government in a very short time without proper consultation (& without a proper mandate?), that people are suspicious of their intentions. It's their own fault for going along with individual politicians 'personal ambitions'. We on the other hand have to live with the consequences for decades, of not having spoken up in time. We are still sore & bruised by past governments quick descisions (& still picking up the pieces of past privatisations). Jean


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 8:12 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:05 pm
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Location: Basingstoke, Hampshire
I understand that Jean and it is right to be cynical, but my problem with this particular 'campaign' is that it is knee-jerk and ill-informed: it assumes the worst before any details are known.

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