Forest sale plans

Phil_D 13 81 Scotland
28 Jan 2011 9:17PM
If the FC is not a business, then it should cease from engaging in business practices. The FC holds enormous influence over timber prices in the uk, due to fact that across the whole of the country (i.e. Including Wales and Scotland) it represents in excess of 50% of the market, selling around 4.5 million tonnes of timber per annum. I'm not sure which if any other government quangos engage in commercial activities to such a scale (or for that matter so inefficiently when compared to the evil, faceless private sector). As an example, i don't believe the department of agriculture engages in large scale farming, or owns the largest fleet of tractors in uk agriculture (FC owns the largest fleet of timber harvesting mavhinary in the uk), and i don't believe the said department has any great influence (or interest for that matter) in the price of wheat for example.

38 degrees are nieve and ill informed, and clearly have little understanding of the issue.
JohnParminter 13 1.3k 14 England
28 Jan 2011 9:30PM

Quote:What is the driving force behind transfering that ownership out of OUR hands? I am not at all clear and it is this complete lack of transparency that I find most worrying (and clearly I am not alone). The economic argument just doesn't make sense (its a little like we are beginiing to see now with the proposed NHS changes - although there I would stand four square behind the need for radical changes).

There is I beleive another agenda here of that I am sure and its one that I for one am deeply suspcious of.

I also do not fully understand the reasons why they really want to change ownership of the public forest estate, I hesitate to use open spaces as mentioned a few times above because to me open spaces includes all the moors, fens, mountains etc that is not connected to this discussion.
The Gov. says they are doing this for savings and to cancel the F-C operator/regulator anomally and I guess to streamline the F-C and get it back to it's core services namely research and regulation.
But there may be hidden agendas at play, I can't say that this reasoning really bothers me. I am more interested in the result of this change and how it directly affects me which is the use of these woods for my recreational time.
But as I have mentioned a few times now, I have faith in what the private sector has been doing in the woods local to me and in the Lake District in general so I come from an optomistic point of view, or is that just me being naieve....???

Time will tell I guess.
tomcat 15 6.4k 15 United Kingdom
28 Jan 2011 9:45PM
I refer to my previous comment, John
JohnParminter 13 1.3k 14 England
28 Jan 2011 10:11PM

Quote:I refer to my previous comment, John

You sound like a politician in the House of Commons tomcat......

Just Jas Plus
18 26.3k 1 England
28 Jan 2011 10:19PM

Quote:yes there is, one is answerable to parliament, the other to its shareholders.

Who will quite peeved if they don't get a healthy return for their investment.
losbarbados 11 236 United Kingdom
28 Jan 2011 10:22PM
Which would suggest they would look after their investment.
tomcat 15 6.4k 15 United Kingdom
28 Jan 2011 10:25PM
As things stand at the moment, I believe I would sooner be answerable to a pc than the egoistic numpties who are running the show at the moment
losbarbados 11 236 United Kingdom
28 Jan 2011 10:34PM
One suggestion that seems to have been overlooked here why the FC shouldn't be allowed to sell the forests to the nasty pivate sector, and that is any carbon producing business, let's say BA, will be able to use the woodland management to off set their carbon footprint - giving them a tax break.
ketch 12 770 50 Turks And Caicos Islands
28 Jan 2011 11:08PM

Quote:Which would suggest they would look after their investment

EXACTLY - therein lies the problem, quite simply because public access is really not a good bedfellow with 'timber profit' - and yes you are absolutely right they (whoever 'they' are) will wish to look after their investment and unlike the FC this will be purely a financial investment.

Quote:why the FC shouldn't be allowed to sell the forests to the nasty pivate sector
quite simple because they only hold this land on OUR behalf so its a bit like me selling your front driveway. Don't worry I will look after it and, I promise, you won't see any difference, I mean you can still drive your car over it and park on it - (dark muttering off stage 'at least until my shareholders decide to make a little more profit and then put a parking meter on your driveway - eventually in fact they will close the whole thing off in order to force local planning to allow them to build build a stone crusing plant there' evil laughter!!!)

Quote:BA, will be able to use the woodland management to off set their carbon footprint - giving them a tax break.

I trust you are being ironic - but in fact an interesting idea - so what benefit do we get given that it is our woodland that is being sold here?? Can I suggest loads of free air miles - now that should work really well shouldn't it?
losbarbados 11 236 United Kingdom
29 Jan 2011 9:29AM
That is a very romantic idea you have on things Ketch.

Ask yourself what restrictions there are regarding established right of way through privately owned woodlands? There isn't any, there may be a gate, or a style on the footpaths, but the right of way still remains and you are free to use the footpaths that exist.

The forestry commision do not hold the land on our behalf they hold it due to an act of parliament that was put into place so the government of the day could control timber production at the end of the forst world war. Is it neccesary for the government to have a controlling interest in 2011? I cant think of a reason for it, but I'm prepared to be educated.

Yes there was a touch of irony, but that extreme is about the only possible reason that private ownership would be a bad thing, as has been pointed out previously, no one here would be able to tell whether they are in a private on public woodland. The chances are that the woodland you are walking through is privately owned anyway.
geoffash26 16 2.5k United Kingdom
29 Jan 2011 10:56AM
National Trust getting involved now.
Zydeco_Joe 14 84 1 England
29 Jan 2011 1:02PM
Not sure if the National Trust getting involved is a good thing !!!! the way they treat photographers over the years.
JohnParminter 13 1.3k 14 England
29 Jan 2011 8:53PM

Quote:EXACTLY - therein lies the problem, quite simply because public access is really not a good bedfellow with 'timber profit'

Robert, I don't see or recognise that correlation you mention as it is today between access and 'timber profit' either in the private sector or F-C managed forests and woods that I regularly use.

Some trees take 30 years or so before they can be harvested and then only portions are harvested at a time, not huge swathes. Access simply isn't a problem even within commercial privately owned forests, I don't see why it would be any different in the new change of ownership.

When a portion has been designated for harvesting and extracting then yes they may have to temporarily close or provide alternate access points or paths for safety reasons but after they have finished then access is restored.

I simply don't see this notion that access will be permanently lost because a private company makes profit from woodland. I'm not aware of the CROW right of access law being changed or public rights of way being removed because of change of ownership. Laws would have to be changed.

Paul Morgan 19 19.5k 6 England
29 Jan 2011 10:41PM

Quote: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?

No, it will make no difference.

I would rather put my hand in my pocket and buy/donate a few tree`s. When my father passed away it was a whole acre.

I like what the woodland trust are doing and this.
JohnParminter 13 1.3k 14 England
30 Jan 2011 8:04PM
Just to counter my belief that access won't be restricted, well it won't be in theory but in practical terms it has been at
Rigg Wood

This is one sale of F-C wood where in practical terms access has been limited due to the new owner padlocking the carpark gate which he is entitled to do.

I guess this is one way for the owner to say public access will be maintained but in reality it won't be for folk who arrive by car.

mmmm something to think about.

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