It has emerged that the government intends to sell off more than half of our national forests to private firms. Campaign group 38 Degrees has concerns that this will mean that ancient woodlands will be ruined as companies use them for holiday villages, golf courses and logging etc, and have launched a petition accordingly.
The twin objectives of 38 Degrees` campaign seem perfectly reasonable ; 1) they don`t want private companies to chop down our woodland, and 2) they want to see the trees protected for both conservation purposes and public enjoyment.
Obviously a lot of people share these aims as at present they have over 63,000 signatures.
For more details, visit www.38degrees.org.uk/save-our-forests .
Digressing slightly, the fate of a forest was the subject of an earlier posting of mine, Waingroves Woodland Worries ( this blog, 29 July 2010 ). I don`t usually do updates on earlier postings, as I always provide enough information/links/points of contact for people to check on the eventual outcome if they`re sufficiently interested. In this case, however, I will break my own rule and tell you that the Waingroves Community Association raised £20,000 from voluntary sources and bought the area in question themselves. To their credit, landowners Hansons (a building materials company) had received a rival offer of £60,000 from a bidder wanting the land for commercial purposes, but decided to accept the Association`s offer instead.
Particularly impressive is the fact that the funds were all obtained from individual donations and community fund-raising events - no grants were received by the Association at all. For further details, see Chris Jones - Villagers Join Forces to Buy Woodland ( 9 October 2010 ) at http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/ .