The Government is planning a sell off of woodland / forests that are currently managed by the Forestry Commission. At present it is not clear exactly what the impact of this will be, as it’s still running it’s course through the political mechanisms. At first I was outraged, upset, I even rattled off a letter to my local MP (who did respond). But then I started to think a little bit about how the Government (and Local Authorities) manage property around us. How they are involved, and what powers they have. After reading some interesting articles in main stream news papers I soon shifted my opinion into what logically should have been my initial opinion.
I am no friend of the Government or the political system as it stands today. I feel that the state has too much power over us as individuals and as communities. I don’t want to see what’s left of the woodlands that are in Government hands sold off to developers to their detriment. But I can see that something needs to change, as they are not safe in the hands of the Government.
In the UK there are plenty of outdoor spaces, woodland, forests that are owned and managed by Private Sector, Trusts and Charities. For example, the RSPB owns a huge quantity of land, which they manage effectively. There are small pockets of woodland that are owned and run by private enterprise. They are coppicing, using the wood for charcoal, hurdle making, furniture making etc. They are utilising the resource as it should be utilised. In England there is very little (if any) woodland that hasn’t over time been managed by humans. In fact it’s important that the management continues for the biodiversity of the established fauna and flora that have established themselves in these woodlands.
The simple solution to this whole sell off is for people to group together and form Trusts, Charities, Social Enterprises to take the woodlands out of the hands of the Government and back into the hands of the public. The notion that they are some how safe if the Government has control of them just doesn’t stack up. In fact this sell off is clear proof that they are not safe in the hands of the Government.
I feel that for too long people have become stuck with the idea that the Government is actually doing things for our good. That the Government is actually there to help and benefit us. It seems quite clear that this isn’t the case. So if they are hell bent on selling the woodlands, then lets get together and buy them.
As such, I’ve put together a site for people to put their name down, and an indication of how much they would willingly put in to “By Our Woodlands”.
please visit http://www.buyourwoodlands.org.uk
If there is enough people interested then the site will develop into a collaborative platform so that people can contact each other and bring together groups of individuals so that they can try to raise the money needed to buy the woodlands.