Our Forests and our Woodlands, 28th July 2012
The Forest of Dean campaign group, “ Hands Off Our Forests” (HOOF), celebrated the Independent Panel on Forestry’s report responding to the government’s aim to ‘sell off’ our forests & woodlands. Those answering questions on the HOOF panel included Sir Harry Studholme (Panel member); Jonathan Porritt (FoE; Green Party & Govt Adviser fame) & Richard Daniels (Chair of HOOF).
The presentations and a Q/A session warned the audience of local foresters and residents not to be complacent and that the devil was in the government's response. They said the NGOs, that we’d expect to be very vociferously vigilant versus the govt’s attempts to take over our forests and our woodlands, seemed to be followers of HOOF rather than leaders of the movement to protect our trees. So we, the people of this land, must be alert and strongly responsive to the Govt/Defra’s invite to express our views in the autumn and not be led to OK government’s plans.
A question from a true Forester pointed out that the Forest of Dean had centuries ago been given full protection from predation by parasitic asset strippers. The full import of this was not appreciated - the Forest of Dean was now to lose that full protection. It was now to be almost as other forests. At present to be in a special class with the New Forest, but ultimately perhaps to be as vulnerable as all forests & woodlands.