Toby Buckland, BBC Gardeners World presenter, has voiced his concerns to Save Our Woods over government proposals to sell publicly owned forests.
Toby Buckland’s Statement
The government’s ill conceived plan to sell off our forests – the crown jewels in our country’s living heritage – isn’t only unjust and short-sighted it is dangerous. When woodlands are carved up into small parcels their care becomes patchy, wildlife diminishes and they become easy targets for developers.
What worries me most of all, is that the overview needed to care for our native and forestry trees will become increasingly blinkered. The climate is changing and our trees – rooted to one spot – will struggle to keep pace. Add to this the volatile cocktail of deadly plant pathogens new to our shores, such as Sudden Oak death that’s spreading from the South West, the case for uniting the care and scientific study of our woodland becomes irrefutable.
I truly believe that unless a nationwide, co-ordinated approach is taken with our woodlands there is a very real danger that these unwelcome diseases will spread like a plague as Dutch Elm disease has done before.
United we must stand, as divided we fall and so it is for our woodlands.
All the best, Toby Buckland