CPRE Surrey calls on Coalition to rethink forest sell-off plan
Local countryside campaigners are calling on the Government to “think again” on its proposed sale of Forestry Commission land.
CPRE Surrey says that the planned sell-off is “ill-conceived” and that it could rob the county of several of its most precious woodland assets.
At risk are many areas of woodland in Surrey and throughout England that are vital for public recreation and for nature conservation and biodiversity.
“There is a danger that the Government sees our forests purely in commercial terms, and this is not right”, said CPRE Surrey director Andy Smith. “Walkers, cyclists and riders make extensive use of the land that the Forestry Commission looks after. Rights of access must be protected and our woodland must continue to be managed properly for the sake of wildlife and habitat conservation, and for the preservation of our beautiful forest landscapes.
“The Government should abandon its ill-conceived plan and instead concentrate on ensuring that the Forestry Commission have the resources they need to continue their stewardship of our forests. This is about protecting our heritage and handing it on to future generations. Politicians should start to think long-term. They are squandering our already seriously depleted natural resources.”
Surrey woodland areas run by the Forestry Commission include Alice Holt Forest (near Farnham), Chiddingfold Forest (near Godalming), and Bury Hill & Redlands (near Dorking).