I notice that the Government is now reviewing all of DEFRA's arms-length organisation, including Natural England and the Forestry Commission for potentail closure or reduction. Love the FC or loathe them - and there seem to be very mixed views in the stalking community, depending I suppose on who owns your lease - the potential privatisation is bound to have an impact on us. Will this be a positive move or a negative one for us. It will obviously impact on the Deer Initiative, as the FC are a key funder and provide much of the infrastructure for the DI to function.
I've no experience of an FC lease, as my Scottish ground is managed by a private forestry company, but I have seen the impact the FC have had on deer populations adjacent to grouse moors in NE Scotland - here, the Red deer have been lamped and shot out of season by the FC (with the enthusiastic support of the grouse beat keepers) to the point where they are now a rare sight. Will the absence of Crown Servant status make it more difficult for forest managers to act with such impunity?
On the upside, it might mean that private forestry firms have less onerous requirements for recreational stalkers taking on leases?
Apologies if this has already been discussed and I've missed it...