The Forest Campaigns Network, Our Forests and Save Our Woods have joined voices with the Ramblers, Confor, Woodland Trust, The Wildlife Trusts and 38 Degrees to urge David Cameron to include the draft forestry legislation in the Queens speech on June 4th. This coalition of organisations gives voice to hundreds of thousands of people across England and of course the over half a million members of the public that spoke out to stop the 2011 sell off of our Public Forest Estate.
The Telegraph writes:
‘England’s woodland is in danger unless David Cameron keeps his promise to pass laws preventing public forests from being sold off, leading conservationists have said in a letter to the Telegraph.’
Dear Prime Minister,
As the Government prepares for the Queen’s Speech and its final legislative programme in advance of the general election, it is time to fulfil a promise to the public for legislation to establish a new public forest management organisation for England.
The Independent Panel on Forestry, established in 2011 after the public outcry that forced the Government to rethink its plans to sell off the public forest estate, made the recommendation for a new body to secure its future. The Government has already publicly committed to it at the earliest opportunity. That time is now.
The publication of draft legislation will reassure the hundreds of thousands of people who made their views known so powerfully that England’s public forests will be held in trust for the nation.
The Government must take this opportunity, before it is too late, to move beyond the controversies of the past and keep the promises it has made for our forests. A draft Bill, once passed, will enable the public forest estate to fully contribute to a bright new future for the environment, people and the economy.