Whilst welcoming Government intentions to abandon plans for disposal of public forests, the campaign to protect and restore England’s ancient forests must go on, warns the Woodland Trust.
They welcome the opportunity for a more considered approach to the future of our much loved woodlands but their campaign continues. Whilst they welcome the removal of threats to public access, there is still an acute need for better protection of Ancient Woodland, our equivalent of the rainforests, and restoration of ancient woods planted with conifers.
Even if there are no sales of publicly owned forests, the worst of all worlds would be for there to be no change to the loopholes that have allowed 850 ancient woods to be threatened by built development over the past decade. Ministers have made strong commitments over the past few weeks to increase protection for ancient woods, and the Woodland Trust will be holding them to these commitments.
As I write, there is a proposal to water down protection for ancient woodland in the planning system. The Woodland Trust needs your help to defeat this proposal by 28th February.
We must not let public passion and support for our woods and forests die down and now that ownership is no longer an issue, we must not lose sight of the need to increase protection for ancient forests and restore those planted with conifers, a once in a lifetime opportunity for woodland conservation.
The campaign will continue and I urge everyone to continue to sign the petition and transfer their passion about who owns England’s public woods to ensuring that all of England?s woods survive in the future.