YouGov Survey: Overwhelming Opposition To Forest Privatisation


in News

Reports today from the Guardian and the BBC quote the results from a poll carried out by YouGov for campaign group 38 Degrees.

Unsurprisingly for many of us, the results speak volumes about the unpopularity of this proposal. When asked whether the woods and forests should be kept in public ownership for future generations, a huge 84% of people agreed. Only 2% were in favour of private ownership.

When asked “To what extent do you support or oppose the government’s plans to sell publicly owned woodlands and forests in England?” 75% of people opposed the sale, with only 6% backing it.

Based on these figures it seems there is overwhelming public agreement that the woods and forests should remain in the country’s ownership. The big question is: Will people get the chance to make their views known before this poorly thought through legislation is rushed into place?

For the statistically minded amongst us the poll surveyed a representative group of 2253 adults between 13-17th January 2011.

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wildelycreative January 22, 2011 at 20:45

Considering an overwhelming majority wish to keep the forests in public ownership it would seem undemocratic of the government to now sell them. Will this change their mind?

Cynic January 23, 2011 at 17:51

Defra plan to raise £100 million by selling off 15% of our forests by 2015. During the same period (ie before 2015), the Dept for Transport are going to be spending £1,155 million on the planning stage of HS2, a new ultra high speed railway line from London to Birmingham, which, if ever built, would save 20 minutes on existing travel time and has no business or environmental case. Crazy.

Rob Dawes January 25, 2011 at 21:42

I am strongly opposed to the sale of any part of the national forest. It is a valuable national asset and an escape from everyday life. The forestry commission does a wonderful job. They provide a service which cannot be provided by the private sector. It is the same with the canal system. It is an excellent area to relax in after a week’s work. To sell these sort of assets would be counterproductive and detrimental to the nation’s health and wellbeing.

Nick January 26, 2011 at 00:27

All good points.

People (well, some people who seem to make some big decisions) still don’t get the fact that if we really are going to overcome the pressing environmental issues and the chronic health issues we face in the 21sy century, we need to think about things differently.

Money isn’t the answer to everything.

Michael Huddleston January 26, 2011 at 23:23

I strongly oppose the sale of our forest and wood land in the UK. Another privatisation of the Rich to have control of our national assets. What will be next the Air that we breath. This is gone to far and the sake of a quick buck now . We the people of this country will once again sell Of Britain. Water a free natural resource SOLD do we really want our woodland to be another out of touch decision from the Laywers and Mps above to have the final say it what really is not theres to sell.

Val Lemmon January 31, 2011 at 12:40

Macmillan started the great sell-offs, Thatcher did some more and this government seems determined to finish the job. I really despair.

wildelycreative January 31, 2011 at 13:07

Don’t despair – use the buttons on the right hand side of the website to write to your MP and voice your concerns. Ask your MP to vote to Save Our Forests and if they aren’t going to vote to Save Our Forests, ask them why not.

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