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Forest Sale Plans Anger Campaigners

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12287175

The government is to publish its consultation on selling off tracts of publicly-owned forests in England.

The plan has been greeted with anger by campaigners, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dame Judi Dench and Bill Bryson among signatories of a letter calling the sale "unconscionable".

But the government says nature and rights of access will be protected.

The plan could lead to the sale of all land in England owned by the Forestry Commission, totalling 2,500 sq km.

Forests in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are not affected.

The Archbishop and nearly 100 other people in public life wrote to the Sunday Telegraph this past weekend expressing their horror at the idea.

"We, who love and use the English forests, believe that such a sale would be misjudged and shortsighted," they wrote.

"It is our national heritage. We are an island nation, yet more people escape to the forest than to the seaside."

An opinion poll at the weekend found 75% of respondents were opposed to the sell-off.

I think the figures this morning on TV was it costs £10m a year to run the forestry commission and the sell off would generate £470m. Although quite how a private company would make money on the forest area without say building houses or business parks I'm not too clear on. The only alternatives are they charge ramblers for walking in the forests either via a license or toll booths, or the forests can be farmed for the wood etc..... Although if that's the case why isn't the govt farming the trees for a profit?

Can anyone offer any real ideas how you could make money from the forests without destroying them?

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12287175

I think the figures this morning on TV was it costs £10m a year to run the forestry commission and the sell off would generate £470m. Although quite how a private company would make money on the forest area without say building houses or business parks I'm not too clear on. The only alternatives are they charge ramblers for walking in the forests either via a license or toll booths, or the forests can be farmed for the wood etc..... Although if that's the case why isn't the govt farming the trees for a profit?

Can anyone offer any real ideas how you could make money from the forests without destroying them?

It will become expensive for a bear to sh1t in the woods

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12287175

I think the figures this morning on TV was it costs £10m a year to run the forestry commission and the sell off would generate £470m. Although quite how a private company would make money on the forest area without say building houses or business parks I'm not too clear on. The only alternatives are they charge ramblers for walking in the forests either via a license or toll booths, or the forests can be farmed for the wood etc..... Although if that's the case why isn't the govt farming the trees for a profit?

Can anyone offer any real ideas how you could make money from the forests without destroying them?

There's still tax breaks and good grants available for owners of woodland, and the claiming of grants will go up if the woods ate privatised so cost us more.

The Forestry Commission does farm wood currently, how much it males from it, I'm not sure.

I'd like to see the large old forests (Dean, Sherwood, New etc.) handed over to people like the National Trust & Woodland Trust.

I'd also like to see communities owning some of them.

I see no reason why the Government should continue to own them.but my fear is they will just end up being added to the estates of large landowners (who already own too much of the UK)

Andy

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Oh look Mr Planning Permission, I can't afford to maintain my forest. It looks a mess, guess I'll have to charge people to come in to help with costs. Oh, by the way, a lovely new visitor centre and cafe would help too. Perhaps even some discreet living accommodation. You can buy one if you wish.

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Make money by tapping into EU hand outs for carbon offsetting. 'X £ / hectare' could result in a very handsome yrly return thank you very much. Maybe the people/orgainisations buying these forests have been given a heads up from their contacts in the EU parliament?

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Make money by tapping into EU hand outs for carbon offsetting. 'X £ / hectare' could result in a very handsome yrly return thank you very much. Maybe the people/orgainisations buying these forests have been given a heads up from their contacts in the EU parliament?

Would national govts be excluded from claiming these taxpayer payouts then?

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12287175

I think the figures this morning on TV was it costs £10m a year to run the forestry commission and the sell off would generate £470m. Although quite how a private company would make money on the forest area without say building houses or business parks I'm not too clear on. The only alternatives are they charge ramblers for walking in the forests either via a license or toll booths, or the forests can be farmed for the wood etc..... Although if that's the case why isn't the govt farming the trees for a profit?

Can anyone offer any real ideas how you could make money from the forests without destroying them?

Yes, most of my living now comes from coppice materials.

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12287175

I think the figures this morning on TV was it costs £10m a year to run the forestry commission and the sell off would generate £470m. Although quite how a private company would make money on the forest area without say building houses or business parks I'm not too clear on. The only alternatives are they charge ramblers for walking in the forests either via a license or toll booths, or the forests can be farmed for the wood etc..... Although if that's the case why isn't the govt farming the trees for a profit?

Can anyone offer any real ideas how you could make money from the forests without destroying them?

you sell the wood that is now ready, which was paid for by the tax payer and planted with tax funded wages, then you get various grants to manage the land and plant more wood.

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There's still tax breaks and good grants available for owners of woodland, and the claiming of grants will go up if the woods ate privatised so cost us more.

Yep, I read in Private Eye this week that someone bought an area of woodland from the govt. for £60,000 then promptly applied for a £60,000 grant.. <_<

I don't agree with selling our forests, it's the thin end of the wedge.. it'll either end up in foreign hands, or be prey to bribing developers who suddenly get permission for 1000 homes.

No good can come of it, and all for making a relatively small sum of money.

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Surely you are either for the enclosure of land or against it? Anyone who owns their own property yet claims the Forests should be public property is a hypocrite.

Bit of an extreme view... Residential housing only occupies a few percent of Britain's total land area, doesn't mean the other 95+ percent needs to follow the same ownership/access model.

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Surely you are either for the enclosure of land or against it? Anyone who owns their own property yet claims the Forests should be public property is a hypocrite.

How so ? It's not unreasonable to have certain sections of land available for housing, and other areas left untouched.

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Oh look Mr Planning Permission, I can't afford to maintain my forest. It looks a mess, guess I'll have to charge people to come in to help with costs. Oh, by the way, a lovely new visitor centre and cafe would help too. Perhaps even some discreet living accommodation. You can buy one if you wish.

Sounds about right....cuddly toy, cuddly toy. ;)

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Interesting article in the times on this subject on monday; fortunatly the writer has posted it on his own website so we can get round the paywall:

http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/why-nationalise-trees

Since its plans to sell off much of the Forestry Commission’s land were leaked the press last October, the government has found itself subject to a sustained lobbying campaign. The commission has wheeled out its friends to tell the press what an irreplaceable paragon of environmental virtue it is, and specifically how much access to the countryside will be lost if its land is sold.

I have learned that when the government’s proposals are put to public consultation next week, this particular charge will be found to be simply wrong. All sales of land will be subject to the same access provisions as now. So the hyperventilating lobbyists, from ramblers to baronesses, can calm down: the Forest of Dean will not suddenly be closed. It was the Labour government that was quietly selling Forestry Commission land in recent years with no such public-access requirement.

The access row is a smokescreen to cover old-fashioned bureaucratic self-preservation. The Forestry Commission is keen to remain a cosy nationalised monopoly. With more than two million acres (600,000 in England) and over 50% of timber production, plus 100% untrammelled power to set the rules of the industry it competes in and dominates, the Forestry Commission is a walking conflict of interest. It is like the Bank of England running a huge high-street bank, or the BBC owning Ofcom

Edited by Goat

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Selling off a large proportion of the Forestry Commission portfolio is about as close a thing to political suicide as I could imagine the Torylition dreaming up. It might not be the most emotive issue in terms of budget cuts but it's probably the one with the greatest amount of opposition numerically. The only people who would support this are the rich handful of individual or corporate investors who might be interested buying a forest.

The green tree-hugging tendency certainly won't like it, nor will the large element of Tory voters who are traditional rural protectionists. Ramblers, mountain bikers, horseriders and wildlife groups are hardly likely to approve and I can't imagine that a single Lib Dem voter would support the sell-off. I know the government says that public access rights will be protected but with the cuts but local authorities are cutting back their access and rights of ways departments so landowners are likely to do their best to hamper public access. The position with Forestry Commission land has generally been that the public had informal permitted access unless an area was closed for forestry work. In the last year or two the Forestry Commission formally dedicated all their forests as open public access, with provisions for closure during forestry operations.

At the moment YOU and I are permitted to wander freely around FC forests. If they are sold this permission might disappear.

If it looks like this scandalous sell-off of OUR forests is to be forced through, the best thing we could all do is join the Woodland Trust and / or make donations to them in the hope that they'll be able to buy some of the forests.

Edited by Hyperduck Quack Quack

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