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Campaign Action: Save Our British Forests

Submitted by Save Our Earth
Started on 07/11/2010
Status: CLOSED
Signatures: 6

On 17th February 2011, the UK Government cancelled the consultation 3 weeks after it was set up. They admitted they had got it wrong and would take a fresh approach to public access and biodiversity within publicly owned woodland. This is great news for the people and shows what we can do when we stand together !

Save Our Earth - Save Our British Forests
The British Government has signalled their intent to sell 150,000 hectares of woodland looked after by the Forestry Commission in order to reduce the economic deficit. They are perpetrating an environmental crime by selling natural resources while lecturing other countries.

The Forestry Commission manage 1.85 million acres of woodland and around a third would be sold to be potentially turned into amusement parks, sold off to developers for 'affordable' housing, sold to large landowners or large corporations. If the land was sold at present market price, it would raise 250m (despite the UK Government wanting to raise 5bn) which is nothing compared to how important these forests are to the environment and the country. It would set back countryside protection and the restoration of ancient woodlands by years if corporations were allowed to pick the most profitable land which would cut off funds now used for conservation and afforestation.

The average forest cover in the UK is 12% where as in Europe its nearer 30% - how can the UK Government justify selling off when their election pledges promised to plant one million trees within the next Parliament term. The Read Report concluded that if an extra 4% of the UK's land was planted with new woodland over the next 40 years, it could lock up 10% of the nation's predicted carbon emissions by 2050.

Yet all this doesn't seem to matter to the UK Government who are willing to change laws dating back to the Magna Carta in 1215 to allow the sale of the forests. Even the Conservative Party who were in Oppostion at the time, published a report named Forests for Life which put forward proposals to save the rainforests by including financial mechanisms to protect them, yet they are now willing to sell their own forests for financial gain - something which they have criticised other countries for doing !

It is time to act to save our forests from being used to reduce the economic deficit and as the Conservative Party quoted in their Forests For Life report from Theodore Roosevelt, "A people without children would face a hopeless future; a country without trees is almost as hopeless".

Act now by sending the letter or sending your own!
Caroline Spelman, UK Environment Minister


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Document last updated on Tuesday 30 August 2011

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