FCN welcomes the engagement we have had with the DEFRA/FC working group to date and look forward to working with them further as part of the crucial process in determining how our woods and forests will sustainably deliver the triple bottom line (good for our economy, good for our communities and good for our environment).
We also look forward to welcoming the new team of environment ministers and extend our best wishes for their work in this important area of public policy.
All Public Forest Estate forests are multipurpose, with each forest serving the communities they are a part of, as well as the wider population of England, providing jobs, amenity and supporting a vast network of habitats vital to wildlife.
The FCN represents a broad range of communities:
- from scattered rural populations to densely populated urban areas
- from relatively affluent areas to more economically deprived areas
- covering the broad spectrum of the English political landscape
- with differing levels and types of community involvement and engagement
- with forests and woodlands that vary in character; from long established forests to forests established in the 20th century; from forests with a high proportion of broad leaf woodlands to those with a high proportion of coniferous plantation.
FCN cares deeply about a wide range of issues related to the future of not only our Public Forest Estate but also the whole range of forests and woodlands across England:
- Forest structures and governance, including the future of the Forestry Commission – whose achievement over a century the Panel rightly recognises and which we strongly endorse
- The future organisation and funding of Forest Services, Forest Research, and the Public Forest Estate
- Ecosystem services from forests and woods – we welcome the emphasis in the Panel’s report on the extremely good value for money provided by the PFE and the clear message that investment in it should be maintained and increased, as well as in the other organisations and mechanisms sustaining forestry
- Forest and Woodland policy – we believe that any policy must be sustainable and multipurpose so that it delivers the full range of social, economic and environmental benefits
- Woodland culture – we endorse the recognition of the benefits to people and to communities, including access, education, physical and psychological health and spiritual wellbeing.
We very much look forward to participating in a process to secure the future of all our forests and would welcome an opportunity to discuss this with the new minister for forestry, David Heath MP and the new Secretary of State for the environment the Rt. Hon. Owen Paterson MP.
The Forest Campaigns Network (FCN) is a countrywide alliance of grassroots campaigns and forest user groups, formed on February 28th, 2011.
Campaign/Friends groups that have signed up to this statement:
Friends of the Lake District
Friends of Thetford Forest
Hands Off Our Forest (HOOF – Forest of Dean)
One Voice – New Forest
Save Cannock Chase
Save Chopwell Forest
Save Delamere Forest
Save Lakelands Forests
Save Our Woods
Save Sandlings Forest
Save Sherwood Forest