Response to Our Forests and Jonathon Porritt’s comments

Posted on 16th January 2012

Response to Our Forests and Jonathon Porritt’s comments about The Wildlife Trusts and the Public Forest Estate (11 January 2012)
Monday 16th January 2012

The campaign group Our Forests set out its ‘vision for England’s woods and forests’ in January 2012. Prior to this, it submitted a Freedom of Information request to Government, The Wildlife Trusts and other NGOs regarding the proposed sale of the Public Forest Estate in July. Below is our response to their statements published on 11 January.

On what Our Forests call the ‘shopping list’

We believe it is important to be in dialogue with the Government about issues that could have a profound impact on achieving our charitable objectives and our vision of A Living Landscape. Open and frank dialogue does not mean that we are in agreement with what a government suggests and we would never engage in deal-making that would go against the interests of nature or the people who love it.

From a very early stage The Wildlife Trusts made it clear to Government that there should be a proper long-term strategy for the Public Forest Estate. Our forests are an important element of what needs to become a resilient ecological network across England, whether they are in public, private or voluntary sector ownership. Land in public ownership offers the Government a key opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to securing nature’s recovery – as sought in the 2010 Lawton Review – a point we have consistently made.