“we are now setting up an independent panel on forestry that will consider the whole future direction of policy for England’s woods and forests.” Lord Henley, House of Lords Forest debate
The “Independent Forestry Panel” was named on the 17th March 2011. The panel was created as a result of the massive public outcry against the Public Forest Estate sell off, that forced the government to halt a poorly drawn consultation and remove the forestry clauses from the Public Bodies Bill. Clauses that would have enabled the secretary of state to sell off our publicly owned forests without consultation.
Originally the panel was to report their final recommendations this autumn but that has changed to spring 2012. Instead we have a Progress report from the panel, which you can read here:
Independent Panel on Forestry – Progress Report (full document in .pdf)
We hope that the panel will not keep this Progress Report ‘low key’. This is a brilliant opportunity to re-engage with the wider public and remind them of the serious issues still facing our woodlands and forests.