Encouraging signs for the future of forestry

Countryside champions, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, welcome the Forestry Panel’s progress report on their vision for the future of England’s forests but emphasise the need for stronger protection for trees in national planning policy.
Emma Marrington, Rural Policy Campaigner for CPRE, says: “We are pleased the Forestry Panel agrees that the benefits of woods and forests are greatly undervalued. The Government were wrong to see Forestry Commission land as just another asset to sell off. This report makes it crystal clear that the benefits provided by the public forest estate offer value for money.”
The final recommendations by the Independent Panel on Forestry, due in April 2012, will come at a vital time for the future of England’s countryside. The final National Planning Policy Framework is expected around the same time and if this is not greatly improved, it is likely to leave much of our countryside as an easy target for development.
Emma Marrington concluded: “The Government must listen to the Forestry Panel’s recommendations and ensure that a secure future if planned for the public forest estate. Our trees, woods and forests need to be more effectively protected, for the benefit of all, for generations to come.”
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) fights for a better future for the English countryside. It works locally and nationally to protect, shape and enhance a beautiful, thriving countryside for everyone to value and enjoy. Their 57,000 members are united in their love for England’s landscapes and rural communities, and stand up for the countryside, so it can continue to sustain, enchant and inspire future generations. Founded in 1926, President: Bill Bryson, Patron: Her Majesty The Queen. www.cpre.org.uk

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