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The Public Forest Estate

Tuesday, 22nd February 2011

The Secretary of State for the Environment, Caroline Spelman, has announced that the consultation on the future of the Public Forestry Estate has been withdrawn and more work will be done on the way forward. 

The debate has been more than passionate and the National Forest Company received many questions about the implications for The National Forest of the proposals. Whilst most of the Forest is privately owned, some woods are held by the Forestry Commission, whose staff work within the Forest to great effect, so the proposals had a real bearing on the future of the Forest.  We will now hope to help shape a new approach by Government to ensuring that there is as much participation in, and care of, our forests as there can possibly be.

As the Secretary of State said, there is no blueprint for the good ownership and management of all woodland: both private and public sectors can do an excellent job, given the commitment, skills and resources. The NFC welcomes the stability given by the decision to rethink the proposals, along with the challenge to continue to encourage the best possible care of the hundreds of woodland sites in The National Forest, for access and enjoyment, for wildlife and biodiversity and for the use of the timber where appropriate. In doing this, we will continue to rely on the many landowners, friends and partners of The National Forest, whose support is invaluable to its progress and secure future.

Contact information

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Carol Rowntree Jones

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Media Relations Officer

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01283 551 211

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