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Support for Consultation on The National Forest to 2014 and Beyond

Monday, 2nd June 2008

Support for Consultation on The National Forest to 2014 and Beyond

As the National Forest Company launches a consultation on The National Forest to 2014 and beyond, it has received strong support from the Forest's funders and partners. The consultation will result in a new implementation plan to support its 2004 - 2014 strategy.

Dinah Nichols, Chair of the National Forest Company, said: 'This planned review presents an opportunity to focus together on how all the communities and organisations committed to The National Forest can contribute to the next five years of achievement. Together, we have made excellent progress since 2004 and have a reputation to build on of which I am very proud.'

David Coleman, from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Government Department which sponsors the National Forest Company, said: 'The National Forest has proved it possible to achieve a transformed landscape, with regeneration and social benefit, using forestry as its main mechanism. In its scale and ambition it has led the way. I urge all organisations and individuals with an interest in The National Forest to grasp this opportunity and actively participate to help us shape its future development.'

The consultation, planned at the half way point of the 2004 - 2014 strategy, was launched at Rosliston Forestry Centre. Mark Todd MP congratulated partners on progress to date and reminded them of future challenges in relation to planned growth in the Forest.

The consultation focuses on four key questions: the annual target for planting; how to achieve landscape change; maintaining the quality of the Forest and organisational arrangements. Further issues include planning and growth and climate change and respondents are encouraged to comment on any issue they feel is important.

The consultation period is now open, and comments are welcome until 30 September 2008. Respondents are invited to complete the online survey at www.nationalforest.org/about_us/mid-point/. The website also features background information on the review and the progress of the Forest since 2004. Alternatively respondents can contact the National Forest Company on 01283 551211 or by email: enquiries@nationalforest.org to request a paper version of the response form to complete and return.