The English government has made a pretty wise decision nto to sell portions of its public forests, and will instead create a trust to hold them for future generations.
The proposed disposal of public forested land was a controversial one, which would have seen the sale of about 15% of the forest land in England. Grassroots Organization “Save Our Woods” played a pretty big role in the reversed decision. The organization was founded in 2010 to get the facts behind the proposed sell off, which led to a campaign against it that gathered half a million petition signatures. This gave the government a good picture of what the public reaction would be if they went forward with the plan, which was not looking very good for them.
According to UK Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, the new body will “have greater independence from Government and greater freedom to manage its resources and maximise its income but with the right safeguards in place to operate for the long-term benefit of people, nature and the economy.”
The government also plans to boost the Forestry Commission’s budget by £3.5 million to make up for lost income, and will allocate £2 million to help settle concerns over the outbreak of Ash dieback disease.
Image CC licensed by European Environment Agency (EEA)