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Privatising our woodlands

On 24 Jan 2011 at 8:26pm jrsussex wrote:
What do posters think about this? Given that this constituency is largely rural does anyone know where our MP stands on the issue.
Personally I am totally opposed to it, trees are one of the great loves of my life. Watching a great tree, that has stood for many years, cut down in just a few hours is a truly sad sight to see and should only occur for very good reason.
That's my moan of the week, I'll keep quiet now.
On 24 Jan 2011 at 8:56pm Newmania wrote:
The left have picked on it as a subject where they can get some purchase in their dead rural and Southern Constituencies . A little forlorn really as the forestry Commission themselves have been conspicuously poor at maintaining access and have themselves been the subject of local campaigns against their serial desecration of the environment with agri business that ruins the soil forever
Having said that it is very much a local issue , I am no longer convinced that the promised safeguards will emerge and there is a worrying possibility that private owners may act at least as badly
So I am coming to Brixton Belle`s POV rather . It certainly bears watching .
On 24 Jan 2011 at 9:02pm MC wrote:
I'm mildly surprised you don't think that trees like the planet, can look after themselves jrs.

On 24 Jan 2011 at 9:22pm jrsussex wrote:
MC - I love your dry humour, however I never implied they could fend for themselves, I simply do not believe they should pass into private ownership.
Imagine private landholders with substantial woodland and suddenly they are offered a large sum of money from a developer. What do you think they would do? They will sell it, that is why woodland needs to be protected.
In various areas of the world we are already losing vast swathes of trees for which the planet will suffer. I do believe we have a duty to the planet, I just think that some of the theories are rather stupid whereas the loss of forests is proven in that it affects the very air we all breath. In my first post I said I LOVE trees and I do rather like Arthur Negas stroke antique wood furniture, which makes me happy, a little sad really. The wife has offered to get a pair of wooden legs.
On 24 Jan 2011 at 9:59pm MC wrote:
You don't have to try to persuade me jrs. I consider trees to be gods.
On 24 Jan 2011 at 10:25pm Newmania wrote:
JR Sussex . there is no suggestion that planning restrictions would not be applied and good luck getting planning permission to build a Hotel on Woodland . Ha ,every farmer in the country would do it ( only Prince Charles got away with it ).
On 24 Jan 2011 at 11:45pm Brixtonbelle wrote:
Cripes Newmania, first The Guardian, now possibly agreeing with me ?
Having said that, I read in that Murdoch rag, 'The Times' today the other side of the argument. (purely in the interests of professional research) It is rather persuasive. BUT I don;t think individual woodland owners can be trusted to maintain the same level of wildlife protection, oublic access and environmental management that the Forestry Commision can as a unifying body. The only reason for it's sell off is idealogical and against state ownership of anything - even if it is large swathes of our own country.
Like Newmania, I'm not cobvinced the so-called safeguards will maitian any sort of protection, espcially in conjunction with the propsed new more localised planning laws.
Apols for poor typing, not wearing my glasses !
On 25 Jan 2011 at 8:13am 'ere be monsters wrote:
Newmania says "The left have picked on it as a subject where they can get some purchase in their dead rural and Southern Constituencies ." It is so boring when any argument is started off by slagging off the party that you are opposed to, whatever the situation. This is a bad idea and to make out opposition to it is merely political point scoring is pathetic.
On 25 Jan 2011 at 8:41am Smiler wrote:
I totally agree withe you EBM
Any post that begins with something like that just reduces my interest in it by at least half.
Does local politics always have to be about which party you support?
On 25 Jan 2011 at 8:54am Mr Forks wrote:
It's just another example of the Tories selling off OUR heritage! Soon they'll have nothing left to sell off and this country will have no assets left to call our own. I'm sure the tory land owners can't wait to buy all the woodland and put manor houses on it for their rich landowning cronies!
On 25 Jan 2011 at 9:47am 'ere be monsters wrote:
You're doing the same Forks. The Tories haven't got the monopoly on flogging off the family silver, or gold to be more precise.
On 25 Jan 2011 at 9:54am Mr Forks wrote:
No, but they do appear to lead by example!
On 25 Jan 2011 at 10:11am Eeek! wrote:
If Prince William was working as a tree surgeon rather than as an air-sea rescue pilot the Government might have had to reconsider these plans as they have done with selling off this public service. But as he isn't they will force through yet another idealogical sell-off without considering the actual impact.
On 25 Jan 2011 at 10:35am sashimi wrote:
Owning forestry is often a means of turning a sudden substantial jump in earnings into an untaxed investment. So what the Government may be doing is providing an escape from income and capital gains tax for some very lucky people who've sold a business well, or got a runaway bestseller or 'earned' a huge bonus. So, in effect the taxpayer may just be giving away the land to people who have already lucked out.
On 25 Jan 2011 at 1:23pm popeye wrote:
If they do sell off any woodland to the public then obviously they need to put strict restrictions on what the new owners can do ( A bit like they do on listed buildings ) also they should have to take a course on woodland management. This way the woodlands would survive and deter would be entrepreneurs. Its a pity they never put a clause in the contract when they sold Newhaven Arm to the french ie. keeping it in good repair.
On 25 Jan 2011 at 4:30pm queequeg wrote:
Any time the government takes on a role like forest management it starts with good intentions but very soon becomes a means to an end. The organisation is then pulled this way and that to help it's political masters achieve their aims whether it be gender and sexuality diversity, or green energy issues. Eventually you get the situation where good projects (as in the Lake District) cannot get funding because over 90% of users of the facilities will be hideously white, probably middle class and possibly predominately male.
Leave it to private enterprise and common sense will prevail, hedged in by all manner of very necessary safeguards.
On 25 Jan 2011 at 4:35pm jrsussex wrote:
Sashima - I believe you may have hit the target in one. Tax consessions where woodlands are concerned are very substantial. Given that only the very rich will be able to make such an an investment, it is very likely that the high level of tax avoidance will be the deciding factor. Certainly you and I will not be getting rich out of it. Always assuming you are not aristocratic.
On 26 Jan 2011 at 8:19am 'ere be monsters wrote:
queequeg..."hideously white, probably middle class and possibly predominately male." What research do you base this on? Bit bloody rude I thought.
On 26 Jan 2011 at 12:02pm queequeg wrote:
I base it on newspaper reports at the time, roughly two years ago, that millennium funding could not be used for projects to do with hill walking etc., explicitly for the reason that the section of the public that would benefit was not broadly enough based to qualify for the funding. I have, tongue in cheek, used the politically correct language of the BBC, Greg Dyke in fact, to express it more picturesquely.
On 26 Jan 2011 at 1:41pm 'ere be monsters wrote:
"Over 90% will be", how can you tell? It was the "probably" and "possibly" that really made me unsure about the accuracy of such research.
On 27 Jan 2011 at 12:30am Brixtonbelle wrote:
See private eye for 'forest chumps' about how landowners make money from forestry including the numerous govt grants they can get.
On 27 Jan 2011 at 11:34am jrsussex wrote:
We have to differentiate between the production of trees for their use in various products, that I feel is OK, as against our ancient woodlands. Many countries in the world do that successfully, New Zealand is a very good example of how that is achieved without any great dis-advantage to the environment. What I am against is the private ownership of forests and woodlands, some of which as you will know have been in place for hundreds of years and as such I believe belong to the people of the UK, not a private individual.
On 27 Jan 2011 at 12:43pm 'ere be monsters wrote:
The Forestry Commission has 250,000 hectares, 60% is National parks, AONBs and SSSIs. Are these up for sale?
Another 100,000 hectares are woodlands, heathland and bogs. How much of that is up for sale?
They are the largest producer of timber in England although it's only 5% of what we use. The rest is imported. Is this business up for sale?
When the government say it will save £100m a year does that take into account that 75% of running costs are covered by income?
On 27 Jan 2011 at 2:52pm Brixtonbelle wrote:
On 27 Jan 2011 at 5:45pm SHS wrote:
That private Eye article was spot-on, thanks BB. Expect more softwood fence posts from China and the end of chestnut as we knew it. This is a SGLEP - short-term govt gain for long-term economic pain.
On 27 Jan 2011 at 7:02pm 'ere be monsters wrote:
Did it say they were going to make £100m on this sale? That's handy it'll go towards the 200m it's going to cost to scrap the 4billion Nimrod aircraft we can't afford any more.
On 28 Jan 2011 at 4:47pm Hoodie Hugger wrote:
A few myths dispelled:
- The Forestry Commission owns about 18% of the nation's woodland (258,000 hectares). 40,000 hectares of that is actually being sold, and will have stringent measurements attached to those sales.
- The previous Labour government sold about 25,000 acres with almost no safeguards in place to ensure the continuity of public access to those forests.
- Everyone involved in Forestry Commission woodland management agrees that the current model of ownership is unsustainable, due to changing circumstances surrounding public ownership of woodland. The previous Labour government were looking at solutions to this problem before the last election.
- A mixed method system is felt to be the best idea, allowing the management of each forest to be agreed on a case by case basis. Some of the woodland will be leased out with stringent criteria attached to the conditions of the lease, to ensure continued public benefits deriving from the forests.
- Other models considered are charity or local community ownership, enabling locals, who often have more expertise than government hired outsiders, to run the forests with the needs of local communities in mind.
There is a consultation going on which sets out the history of forestry commission land, the need for change and some possible solutions. It also invites contributions from the public and those involved with forestry.
On 1 Feb 2011 at 11:38am Heffer wrote:
I wrote to Norman. He is all for it.
He even said we could rejoice in the planting of:
"...two million trees along the proposed route of High Speed 2."
HAHAHHAHA! That will be a lovely walk.
He made big play in his statement of this:
'I have written to Caroline Spelman MP, the Secretary of State at Defra, to seek to ensure that the essential role that forests play in British life will be retained.'
Answers on a postcard as to what that means exactly. I dunno.
On 1 Feb 2011 at 11:53am sashimi wrote:
Hoodie hugger, you seem to be very well informed. Are there any local woodlands in the disposal list that we should consider trying to take into community ownership?

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Brian_the_Snail_Lewes 14:132

This does look like a nasty variant, and not just because of Boris Johnsons face above.

Had my 2nd jab relatively recently,... more
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