Local Group Name - Campaign to Protect Rural England

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CPRE welcomes Forestry report

Monday, 04 July 2011 15:25

The Campaign to Protect Rural England welcomes the Independent Panel on Forestry’s final report, and calls on Ministers to put its vision into action including by promoting a second National Forest for England.

Following today’s publication of the final report [1] by the Independent Panel on Forestry [2], Ben Stafford, CPRE’s Head of Campaigns says:

“We congratulate the Panel for setting out an ambitious vision for our woodlands. We particularly welcome its call to increase England’s woodland cover by 50 percent by 2060. Initiating a competition on where to create a second National Forest for England, following in the footsteps of the successful Midlands National Forest, would be one good way to start working towards this ambition.

“We are delighted that the Panel has recommended that the public forest estate should remain in public ownership, and that the Government has quickly endorsed that call. Swift action is now needed to increase access to those public woodlands, and to private woods too, as advocated by the Panel.

“The real test now is how the Government will act to take forward these ambitious recommendations. Ministers will rightly take time to consider the report, but the six month timetable they have set themselves is long enough. We need to maintain momentum on this issue.  The hundreds of thousands of people who protested against the original sell-off plans will want to see a positive new vision for woods and trees that will guarantee their future for generations to come.”

End

Notes to Editors

[1] Independent Panel on Forestry final report: http://bit.ly/Lml7ZA

[“] The Independent Panel on Forestry was established in March 2011 following the Government’s decision to abandon its consultation on proposed sales of Public Forest Estate land. It is chaired by the Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool, and the other members are: Shireen Chambers (Executive Director, Institute of Chartered Foresters); Dr Mike Clarke (Chief Executive, RSPB); Tom Franklin (until recently Chief Executive of the Ramblers); Stuart Goodall (Chief Executive, Confederation of Forest Industries); Stephanie Hilborne OBE (Chief Executive, The Wildlife Trusts); Sue Holden (Chief Executive, the Woodland Trust); Dr Alan Knight OBE (Environmental Sustainability Director, Business in the Community); Dame Fiona Reynolds (Executive Director, the National Trust); Sir Harry Studholme (Forestry Commissioner); John Varley (Estates Director, Clinton Devon Estates); and William Worsley (until recently President of the Country Land and Business Association).

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