It is great that the Terms of Reference for the Independent Forestry Advisory Panel, announced by Caroline Spelman today, takes a complete step back from previous sell-off plans, and enables the panel to look afresh at forestry policy, including how to broaden access and public enjoyment, as well as biodiversity and the protection of wildlife and ancient woodland. The Ramblers spoke out against previous government proposals to sell off Forestry Commission land and is therefore now welcoming the chance to look at the whole of woodland policy afresh.
I am pleased to join the Independent Panel. I am very keen that the panel listens to the views of community groups, large and small, who have been so passionate in their support for their forests over recent months. Those who visit and enjoy their local woodland can help to shape the future of England’s forests. The Panel is due to report in the Autumn, so we will have a busy few months ahead.
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