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krummholz

Hands Off Our Forest (Again)

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Has everyone seen this? HOOF are asking people to write to peers in the House of Lords to support an ammendment in the Infrastructure Bill that would close a back door for future governments to sell of public forests.

 

"The proposed Infrastructure bill is every bit as dangerous to the future of the Forest of Dean as the original Public Bodies bill which we forced the Government to scrap following the "march in the snow" back in 2011

 

MAKE NO MISTAKE - UNLESS WE ACT TO SECURE AN EXEMPTION FOR OUR PUBLIC FORESTS, THEY CAN BE SOLD OFF - WHICH IS WHAT THIS GOVERNMENT WANTED ALL ALONG."

 

More info on how and what to write on their website

 

Hands off our Forest home page

 

KZ

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You have to look at the overall picture. Of course there is a need for amenity woodland but there is also a need for the UK to develop a coherent commercial forestry policy.

 

The FC was formed to replenish and manage the nation's forest estate after WW1, unfortunately in recent years maintaining a sustainable source of commercial timber is no longer a priority.

 

So something has to change and privatising the FC is probably the best way to do it, however it's very unlikely we'll get a reasoned debate about what the best way forward is.

 

I don't know Forest of Dean but if it has great amenity value it shouldn't be hard to transfer it to another NGO who can maintain it. But remember, everything is about balance and we have a major issue that needs addressed urgently.

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If you privatise anything these days it will get split up into more small packages so more fat cats can make money off it's back and it will be easier for them to get round the rules governing it's use. It ought to be kept in the public domain and run by people genuinely interested in it's future upkeep.

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In my experience privately owned woodland is far better managed than FC. For example today I drove through a FC plantation, on one side of the road was mile after mile of forest planted circa 40 years ago and never been touched since. Result is a choked mass of stunted trees all competing for limited resources. On the other side of the road was hectare after hectare of bare ground which had been harvested years ago but still not replanted.

 

Both situations are hardly the template for good forest management and although lack of management also occurs in privately owned land it is far rarer.

 

Once home I picked up my local newspaper to read article in which the FC advise they're closing a path and clearing timber to replant with native woodland. What is this groupthink that has seized the FC and other relevant bodies? Why must all new planting be native woodland? Where is the balance, where will tomorrow's timber come from?

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I'm not sure what all the fuss is about selling off woodland, the footpaths are there already, usually as a right of way, and the CROW act stops them from being blocked off. Landowners have it in their interest to manage the woodland. It helps increase the price of timber too. A clear fell requires a felling licence, which can stipulate replanting, so I don't think people should worry about woodlands being wiped out either

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Arbtalk

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Having worked for the commission for a 6 year spell I can tell you that the laziness, ineptitude, roughness, money squandering body is better privatized

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A clear fell requires a felling licence, which can stipulate replanting, so I don't think people should worry about woodlands being wiped out either.

 

Who issues the felling license, would it be the Forestry Commission which will be in the hands of the people who will now own the forest and dictate it's future use ? Private enterprise is self serving, look at public transport, the railways,electricity and gas all have cut what they didn't find profitable and increased their prices so the government has had to introduce bodies to regulate them. Same will happen with any land they can use for building and making more money from than keeping it as forest it's how businesses work. Footpaths can easily be closed or rerouted it's happened round here recently, they were closed as deemed unsafe then never reopened but routed hundreds of yards away and out onto a pavement where it is just walking alongside a road not through a wood any more.

Edited by peatff

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Another option debated in some circles Forests | Land Mattersis to give the local communities the woodlands to manage as per France etc. Could see it working in some situations but certainly not all as the link between public and woodland management is not developed enough (again a generalisation).

 

Some fine FC and private woodlands, also plenty of mediocre woodlands too.

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