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Thread: Wheres all the countryside groups now ???

  1. #1

    Wheres all the countryside groups now ???

    Forest sales delayed amid review

    11 February 2011 12:17pm The Government has put the sale of 40,000 hectares of publicly owned forests on hold amid growing anger over plans to dispose of all of England's public forests.
    Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said sales of 15% of public forests announced in last year's spending review will not go ahead until a review aimed at "significantly" strengthening the protections given to the woodlands is completed.
    The announcement follows widespread criticism of proposals by ministers to offload the remaining 85% of England's public forests to timber companies, charities and local communities.
    The already-announced sale of 15% of the estate - the maximum the Government can sell under current legislation - aimed to raise 100 million towards the Environment Department's budget.
    But Ms Spelman said the Government is committed to increasing protection for access and public benefit in woodlands, and that the "inadequate measures" applied to sales under the previous administration will be reviewed.
    However she said the review will not affect the commitment to sell 15% of the forest estate over the next four years, and has no impact on the continuing consultation into the remaining 85% of the public forests.
    Mary Creagh, shadow environment secretary, said the "partial U-turn" would not be enough to silence the protests against the plans to sell off public woods.
    And Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said: "It's clear that the Government is now on the back foot as a result of the public campaign against their ill-judged proposals.
    "But we still have a fight on our hands to resist the legislative changes that would make the forest sell-off a reality - which is why I will be seeking to amend the Public Bodies Bill in the Commons."
    Unions also warned that the Public Bodies Bill, which is currently going through Parliament, would enable the Government to amend the Forestry Commission's statutory and wider functions at will and pave the way for a sell-off.

  2. #2
    power to the people well done
    next the duty on fuel
    time to stand and be counted

  3. #3
    I remain sceptical of promises and soothing words - bearing in mind the old saying that "words are cheap - whisky costs money". The best two ways of keeping a populace quiet are by fear - or supplying them with baubles to make them happy.
    In this case, converting countryside areas into playgrounds for the ever expanding numbers of sensation-seekers and specialist bino-users from the heavily populated urban and suburban areas is a good way to help garner votes.
    If the noisy use of shotguns and the supposed result upsets the majority, or the imagined dangers of bullets whizzing about has the same effect, then you can imagine the way things could go. Things and situations can change amazingly rapidly and in several instances I've seen the patient work of some forty years dismantled within a decade. Please do not take your imagined positions of security for granted because - for instance - who would have imagined at the time of John Cubby's demise that forest rangers might have their backs to the wall today ? !

    Of course, the numbers management of deer will have to take place - but by whom ? There are already one or two deer control bodies which are somehow inserting themselves into this niche.They might well heavily influence who and what might be the leaseholders for the future. It was only twenty years or so ago,that a man who had responsibly managed a woodland area for years, was ousted from his lease because the landlords had been assured that someone with the new DMG qualifications would be better suited.
    Moraly it was a rotten thing to happen, but where do morals or gentlemens' handshakes stand in this day and age where shooting leases are envied by those who have contacts ?

    OK. I'll say no more on that score. By the time that all is revealed I'll possibly not be around to witness it, but I'd suggest that waiting around and complaining later if things DO go badly for the average weekend stalker is not the way to go. I've seen a lot of positive action in the past fifteen years - for instance by the Scottish Gamekeepers Association - and pretty-well all from the veteran ranks who had the wisdom and guts to see that action was required by the rank and file because there was little being done by landlords, (who have been a politically incorrect species for the last twenty or so years), to support their cause.

    Now it's high time that the younger element got off their combined backsides and took up the weight because very soon the late-middle-aged pall bearers will not be there to carry the load. The younger element have been given the benefit of all the theory and qualifications on paper and there are plenty of them around as they have been emerging from the various gamekeeping colleges in growing numbers for years now.

    If they don't get moving, they'll have little left to use their qualifications on unless they want to step sideways and guide people about the remaining woodland and hill areas.
    Last edited by ecoman; 13-02-2011 at 09:43.
    Opinions often differ according to unknown circumstances.

  4. #4
    Frank you're just a rebel at heart. Are you sure you are not a member of the central belt anarchist movement.

  5. #5
    your right frank but ive got a feeling the goverment is telling people what they want to hear and the wheels will keep grinding in the background
    atb tom

  6. #6
    Does no one understand how politicians work and how the political system works.
    If they want to sell something that has not made a penny profit in its existance, first they say that you are going to sell the whole thing.
    When the public scream and shout they tell you that they have had a re-think.
    They then you that they are only going to sell the commercial timber side not the amenity side and you will continue to allow public access to the areas that they are selling off (because the private forestry owners get a grant payed to them by the goverment to allow access) but thats what they dont tell you.
    So everone goes away happy.

  7. #7
    I just had a shocking thought, charities are mentioned as potential buyers..... and without naming names the charities with the dosh to buy aren't exactly stalker friendly now are they

  8. #8
    Yes Paul - good thinking. One charity in particular has the ear of most of the well-heeled dowager ladies - and the not so well heeled. I know of one scots pine forest owned by one which stands like a graveyard of tombstones with hardly a cheep to be heard apart from at the fringes. We were walking our dogs through this forest whilst on a weekend break and encountered a couple of early-middle-aged birders with binos and suitably earnest expressions which turned to glowers when they saw we had a dog with us.
    I'm sure that had their combined wishes come true, the rest of our walk would have been done on cinders and without shoes.
    Opinions often differ according to unknown circumstances.

  9. #9
    The sell off isnt such a bad thing, lets face it FC has been done down on this forum often enough. Should the land go to charitable trusts it will go with covenants which will ensure that it is to be managed properly (unlike many believe the FC do) and access is guaranteed in law. What the great shout me down jump on the bandwagon lumley types tend to forget is that the govt picks up the bill at the moment for all of the car parks and litter picking on FC land. it foces the FC to recoup the loss in charging for access for parking. Now with rights surely come responsibilities and as shooters we know how that works. Should I be selling land with public access and the car park area gets covered in fly tipping or BBQ waste then I would shut the car park and post notices stating why!
    The FC with its massive soft wood plantations arent exactly wildlife friendly either and are known for eradicating all that doesnt fit their plan. lets face it nothing grows where pine is tall.
    I was lucky to have an MP that thinks along these lines. He voted for the sell off and here is his letter to me;
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Stephen lloyd to Ugly FC Letter part 2.jpg   Stephen lloyd to Ugly FC Letter page 1.jpg  

  10. #10
    You won't be so happy when the bird watchers and bunny huggers snap up the land....

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