National Forests, including Sherwood Forest in Notts and allotments across Nottingham City are one very vunerable focus of national government and local authority plans to ‘reduce the deficit’ by either privatising assets or making us pay vastly more to use them.
Last week it was highlighted in the press that Sherwood Forest in Notts is to be included in the sell off of Forestry Commission land as part of the forthcoming Public Bodies Bill – there have been previous reports but the Bill is due in parliament within the next few weeks. National campaigning exists http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/content/save-our-forests-campaign and especially in Gloucestershire about the Forest of Dean seel off, but a vibrant local campaign will be needed here to stop Sherwood Forest being sold off. A national protest rally was held earlier in the month with more than 3,000 people and a petition of over 110,000 pledging to defend “the people’s” trees from what is likely to be a corporate land grab:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/03/forest-of-dean-protesters-woodland. What more can be done here in Nottingham and Notts?
Furthermore Nottingham City Council is holding a consultation of changes to allotment tenancies, rent levels and plot allocation. They claim that the review “aims to encourage more people to get involved with growing food in Nottingham.” In fact, the changes would involve the trebling of rents for allotments in Nottingham. More details on Nottingham Indymedia: http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/854
Save Our Forests Campaign – want to get involved?
The government is planning a massive sell off of our national forests. They could be auctioned and fenced off, run down, logged or turned into golf courses and holiday villages.
We can’t let that happen. We need to stop these plans now. National treasures like The Forest of Dean, Sherwood Forest and The New Forest could be sold off. Once they are gone, they will be lost forever.
There has been significant media coverage of the risks to the public forests and a huge “Save Our Forests” petition at www.38degrees.org.uk/save-our-forests has attracted nearly 130,000 signatures and is growing all the time – please sign it.
Local campaigns have also been set up to fight the sell off in Cannock Chase and the Forest of Dean; but there isn’t much time. The Public Bodies Bill, the legislation that will enable this to happen, is due in parliament in the coming weeks.
Please contact us if you want to get involved in a Save Sherwood Forest Campaign and let us have your ideas about what we can do. You can also visit the Facebook group site: Save Sherwood Forest !!! ( FoSF ). Also on Facebook: What is the issue about the forest sell off — what is happening and why does it matter? And who cares?
More background info from Climate Alliance…
Public Bodies Bill
The Public Bodies bill, of which the ‘modernisation of forestry legislation’ is a part of, is going through the House of Lords at the moment and will then move to the Commons. So anyone who is in contact with their MP or wants to be on this issue, has time to call or write to your MP and raise your concerns/opposition/request for amendments to the bill. The link below takes you to the status of the bill & a short explanation of it, plus you can sign up to email updates which alert you whenever there’s progress/activity on the bill.
Natural Environment White paper
This white paper is still open to to grassroots consultation, responses can be submitted until the end of January.
Parliament briefing updated 23rd Nov 2010: The Forestry Commission and the sale of public forests in England
http://www.parliament.uk/briefingpapers/commons/lib/research/briefings/SNSC-05734.pdfThis document provides historical & current background info on the sale of the public forest estate, plus a number of other links to info sources.
Forestry in England: A new strategic approach (apparently!)
Letter to MPs from DEFRA to clarify position on public forest sale.
Forestry commission: Modernising forestry legislation
The Forestry Commission’s position on the government proposals
More general comment & analysis
London School of Economics – Detrimental consequences of sell-off:
Jonathon Porritt blog:
Tax Breaks on forestry investment: