Forests saved after Government U-turn over sell-off

PUBLISHED: 12:38 17 February 2011 | UPDATED: 12:39 17 February 2011

Open Spaces Society expresses relief at David Cameron’s decision to abandon plans to sell off England’s public forests

THE Open Spaces Society has expressed its relief at David Cameron’s decision to abandon plans to sell off England’s public forest estate.

Its general secretary, Kate Ashbrook, said: “We are relieved the government has at last seen the trees for the wood and recognised that its plans were a recipe for a complete disaster.”

The Prime Minister called an emergency stop to the consultation on its future and will remove clauses from the Public Bodies Bill which affect the Forestry Commission.

The full announcement will be made today, Friday, February 18.

The society started its campaign against the sales as soon as they were announced last November.

It was concerned the government had no idea how it could protect public access to the woods and forests nor how it could protect them from development.

“It is astounding ministers were so out of touch with popular culture that they didn’t understand just what our woods and forests mean to us all.

“Now there can be a proper, informed discussion about the management and enjoyment of all our woods and forests, without ministers champing at the bit to sell the whole lot.”

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