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The National Forest: A National Success Story

Thursday, 25th March 2010

EFRA committee chairman Rt.Hon. Michael Jack MP and colleagues talk with National Forest Company

The report has been issued by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee.  Committee chairman Rt.Hon. Michael Jack MP said:  ‘The National Forest’s achievements – in combining the afforestation of derelict mining sites with the creation of a new leisure industry which is both biodiverse and sustainable – are remarkable.  At a challenging time for the economy the project shows just how much forest development can be the catalyst for both job creation and inward investment.

‘The success has been built on commitment and skills of all The National Forest’s partner organisations.  Strong leadership has enabled the project to deliver significant multiple benefits to an area that had previously been in economic and environmental decline,’ added Mr Jack.

He concluded:  ‘Growing a forest is a long term project that requires the continued engagement and enthusiasm of many local and national partners.  The National Forest offers a strong model for tree planting at the kind of pace required to mitigate climate change, while balancing other environmental, social and economic aims.  The project deserves strong commitment from Government for many years to come.’

Dinah Nichols, Chair of the National Forest Company, warmly welcomed the report: ‘The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee report on its inquiry into The National Forest is an exceptional endorsement of the achievements of the last twenty years. I warmly welcome its recognition of The National Forest as a national success story, founded on local support, strong leadership by the National Forest Company and partner engagement.   I am delighted to see that an informed and independent voice heard, from a wide range of residents, businesses and partners, the real difference the Forest is making to communities, the landscape and people's lives.

‘The Report recommends the dissemination of what has been learnt through the ongoing creation of the Forest and a comprehensive assessment of the public value which the Forest has generated.  This is an opportunity to acknowledge the vital role that modest but consistent Government funding has made to the creation of The National Forest. The Committee recommends that this continues until the job is completed and we look forward to working with Defra and local partners to do just that,’ added Ms Nichols.

See the full report at Select Committee Report

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