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Forest sale plans


27 Jan 2011 12:50PM
The news is full of talk about the government's potential plans to sell on parts of publicly-owned forests in England and we want to know what you think?

Do you agree with Peter Cairns that photographers who feel strongly about the potential sale of forests should use the images they take to help change minds?

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Coleslaw 14 13.4k 28 Wales
27 Jan 2011 12:53PM
It is disgusting and disgraceful.
John_Frid 14 514 57 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2011 1:00PM
I don't particularly care who owns the forests - what matters is that they are well managed and that access is freely available.

I'm not sure public-ownership is the only way to ensure good management and access, but if they are to be sold then it must be with strong requirements placed on owners and proactive enforcement of those requirements.
Fishnet 16 5.0k 5 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2011 1:11PM
History has shown that as soon as anything is privatised it becomes a profit making machine with share holders etc etc and it won't be long before we have to start paying to enter a forest and eventually the forests being sold off to property developers.

It makes me feel sick to think of it.
Coleslaw 14 13.4k 28 Wales
27 Jan 2011 1:16PM

Quote:as soon as anything is privatised it becomes a profit making machine with share holders etc etc and it won't be long before we have to start paying to enter a forest and eventually the forests being sold off to property developers

Exactly.
losbarbados 10 236 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2011 1:20PM
This is one great big storm in a teacup.
The news is months old for a start and the likely course of action is for the forests to be leased out rather than sold freehold.

What all this means is that the government are looking to bring in private investment to the state owned woodland (which in England is a small percentage anyway) and the media have turned that round to read that devolpers will be ripping down all of our woodland and building houses on it. Then any they cant rip down, will be closed off.

The chances are that the forest area that you walk through is privately owned anyway so you wouldn't notice the differance
MrGoatsmilk 12 1.5k England
27 Jan 2011 1:24PM
We already have some pay and display car parks which charge 3 for the day at the moment on Cannock Chase, as they are already there it would be a very easy option for the new owners to start by increasing those and then installing them elsewhere.

It's really worrying to think that our forests which we pay for via our tax at the moment and enjoy more or less freely could be taken away or at least restricted in some way.
MrGoatsmilk 12 1.5k England
27 Jan 2011 1:34PM
Forest sell off, Some questions answered links to the Telegraph


Here is a snippet from the above link

"According to its most recent accounts, the Forestry Commission costs the taxpayer about 10 million a year. Campaigners point out this is equivalent to 30p a year for every taxpayer.
They say the Commission is close to self-financing through the sale of timber each year."
jken 14 1.7k 1 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2011 1:45PM
Complete and utter bollocks on the part of the government, i said it when they announced it and i'll say it again now. I see Ireland, Wales and Scotland have thrown out any notion of selling off their forests. Smacks of pure desperation and some shitty little number cruncher who doesn't actually get off his or her arse (equality and all that) and go out to enjoy OUR Woodlands and Forests.
lobsterboy Plus
16 14.9k 13 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2011 1:59PM
10 Million a year that's peanuts - the governments paperclip budget must be more than that.
Its not going to make any difference to the deficit, especially once the various grants & sweetners have been added to pacify middle-England. Like a lot of this governments decisions its driven by a fundamentalist obsession with reducing the size of the state no matter what the consequences.
Pete Plus
19 18.8k 97 England
27 Jan 2011 3:15PM

Quote:The news is months old for a start

Good point, but we don't spot everything.

If any members hear of anything that may affect or be of interest to photographers in any way that would be worthy a news story please let us know through the contact system. We are always interested in researching news that's above and beyond the standard press release material.
mattw 16 5.2k 10 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2011 3:22PM

Quote:
I'm not sure public-ownership is the only way to ensure good management and access, but if they are to be sold then it must be with strong requirements placed on owners and proactive enforcement of those requirements.


If someone is going to buy forest land - then they do so to make a profit.

And how are they going to make a profit if they must preserve the forest land, and give free access?
Coleslaw 14 13.4k 28 Wales
27 Jan 2011 3:45PM
ripleysalien 13 1.2k 11 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2011 4:02PM
I heard the story on 5 live this morning.
You can buy selected woodland, BUT you cant stop access where its already been granted, you cannot and will not ever get planning permition, and you have to ask the forestry commission if you want/need to cut a tree down.
Question, what are the benefits of purchasing it from them?

Just re read the post above, the word used this morning was SELL not LEASE, wonder which it is.
losbarbados 10 236 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2011 4:32PM

Quote:The news is months old for a start
Good point, but we don't spot everything.

If any members hear of anything that may affect or be of interest to photographers in any way that would be worthy a news story please let us know through the contact system. We are always interested in researching news that's above and beyond the standard press release material.



My point was that the current response, months after the story broke initially, is totally alarmist.

The chances are that the woodland you visit to take your wildlife pictures is already in private ownership.
The big petitions, eg forest of dean, are petitioning against the sale of woodland that will not be sold in the first place.
There are to be covenants on the sale of woodland to prevent the sites being cleared for development.

As it stands the forestry commision make a more than reasonable figure from the sale of timber from the forests they manage, why would any think that isn't an area that can be transfered into the private sector, injecting a pretty healthy amount to clear the financial problems we are currently encountering.

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