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Goodbye Forests

On 6 Jan 2011 at 1:01pm brixtonbelle wrote:
The Tory government is intent on selling off the Forestry Commission, leaving local woods, managed forests, ancient woodlands with no protection from anyone who can afford it coming along and making a quick buck out of the land, chopping down trees, redeveloping the land, destroying great amenities for outdoor pursuits and destroying wildlife habitats. Any private company who buys our woodland is going to hope to make some money out of it, they won't be buying them out of the goodness of their hearts to preserve our countryside's heritage and culture.
Apparently the government hope local communities will club together and buy them, manage them, as part of the big society. So does anyone want to bid for Friston Forest with me - I could manage 50 quid ?
Does anyone seriously believe this sell off is anything other than a BAD thing ?
On 6 Jan 2011 at 1:31pm Newmania wrote:
I think the Forestry Commission was an invention to ensure we had enough timber to support deep mines after the Great War .Handy.
On the face of it getting rid of pointless and ugly conifer monocultures , which destroyed ancient agrarian lanscapes and the market does not want ,sounds long overdue.
If this entails the suspension of any normal planning or preservation orders I would be amazed but then I often am amazed for one reason or another. (I read that access is not going to be altered )
On 6 Jan 2011 at 1:32pm Rods Tiger wrote:
BB I hadn't heard about this, but will certainly find out all that I can. Bad thing, it's horrific ! The tories are clearly trying to save whatever the cost of the Forestry Commision is and, and the same time, try to put additinal cash from sale of land into the coffers so that in a couple of years they can show us how astute they've been with the economy. I will happily join, and invest, in any local forest buying co-operatives if it becomes necessary.
On 6 Jan 2011 at 1:47pm MC wrote:
I agree with Newmania about the the conifer forest monoculture. Horrible destructive thing responsible for acidification of soil and water catchments and biodiversity depletion.
Ideally these vast forest tracts would replanted with UK indigenous woodland species. Unfortunately this will be very expensive as the spoil has to be reconditioned first so is unlikely to happen.
I'm not sure that abolishing the Forestry Commission should be assumed to be an entirely bad thing. Maybe the carbon offset stuff adds some reason for optimism?
On 6 Jan 2011 at 11:47pm queequeg wrote:
Any time the government steps in to reorganise something then you can bet it will be cocked up, this is why you complain of coniferous monoculture. For some time now, buying forest has been a tax advantageous thing to do. I f the government is removing all this tripe so that woodland is grown purely for it's natural and economic benefit then that can only be for the good. Some of that economic benefit will be due to the beauty of the woodland, bluebells and anemones and long may it continue.
On 7 Jan 2011 at 1:43am SHS wrote:
So all UK softwood will in future be imported will it? The big UK Museum and Park will sit stagnant but heavily micro-managed for all to sit and stare at.
On 7 Jan 2011 at 8:26am MC wrote:
Coppicing is an ancient method for managing woodland and harvesting the wood. Is that micromanagement?
On 7 Jan 2011 at 8:41am 'ere be monsters wrote:
Can't wait to set up my own charcoal burner.
On 7 Jan 2011 at 9:23am jrsussex wrote:
Talking of trees. Last Autunm my wife collected 6 acorns and put them in a pot, there are now 5 little oaks trees growing from 3" to 8" high. They will shortly need replanting into a larger tray, any tips on how to give them the best chance of growing to maturity? What type of soil should I use for example. Obviously the objective will be to put them outside but I guess that is 2/3 years away.
On 7 Jan 2011 at 9:43am Toque wrote:
It's only England's forest they're selling off - to service UK debts, which were mostly the fault of Scottish banks.
It's always English assets: Dartford Crossing, Port of Dover, Student Loans Book, NHS land, etc.
On 7 Jan 2011 at 10:05am 'ere be monsters wrote:
Can't expect Wales or Scotland to chip in, they'd have to start charging their university students.
On 7 Jan 2011 at 12:27pm Penguin wrote:
Planted some acorns a few years ago and they have been outside the whole time and still going strong. How do you think they survive naturally if not outside?
On 7 Jan 2011 at 12:28pm Hoodie Hugger wrote:
Incidentally, BrixtonBelle, why do you assume that anyone buying the woodland will immediately chop it down? Firstly they'd have to get planning permission to do so, which in many cases would be highly unlikely. Secondly, were I to buy a forest, particularly if I wanted to turn a profit, I'd want it to last more than just one year. No point in killing the goose laying the golden egg and all that.
On 7 Jan 2011 at 12:59pm Brixtonbelle wrote:
Forestry Commission land is not just the coniferous type. Also includes (locally) Friston forest, the New Forest, Forest of Dean, Thetford Forest and many others including broadleaf and deciduous woodland areas across the country.
The assumption is made because long term investment in forests does not produce a huge returns, unless it is the type of coniferous forests Newmania and MC are talking about. So you could see the replacement of the broadleaf and deciduous with exactly the type of monoculture 'factory' farmed forest that has been creating woodland deserts in the Lake district and Scotland.
Jr sussex. You little oaks will be stronger trees if you put them outside. They definitely don't need mollycoddling inside. Just reproduce the natural conditions. Pot them up with lots of humus rich soil, lots of leaf mould would be ideal, and put them somewhere partially shady - like under a deciduous tree.I bet they romp away come spring.

On 7 Jan 2011 at 1:35pm Tree Fella wrote:
Coincidentally, there was an piece on BBC News this AM about the serious threat posed by Sudden Oak Death disease, and the work being done by the Forestry Commission to research and counter it.

See also: h**p://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/plants/6936050/Sudden-Oak-Death-threatens-British-trees.html

I wonder who is best placed to try and protect forests in the national interest - the FC or private landowning corporations?
On 7 Jan 2011 at 4:18pm jrsussex wrote:
Brixtonbelle and Penguin - Thanks for the advice, I am not a gardener in any sense of the word but was told to protect them for a couple of years. However I shall follow your advice as it makes sense.
On 27 Jan 2011 at 12:40am Bryony Weaver wrote:
Seriously, is anyone willing to step forward as an organiser of a local bid to buy Friston Forest to keep open for the public? Unless we all do so, we will lose an amazing asset and local public wood. Am up for helping collect/ raise public awareness of the threat to access of this lovely area.

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