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Forestry Commission sell off

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,906
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Forestry Commission sell off

This will no doubt be a year of protests and one of major concern should be plans by the Forestry Commission  to sell off large areas of land.
This has already started to happen with one example in Cumbria where Rigg Wood was sold and now notices have been put up to say "Private Land"
We don't seem to have moved on much since the Mass trespass on Kinder scout and I predict we will be returning to this again.
The government also cancelled plans for a costal path which have been in the planning stages for years.
21 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 13,920
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Forestry Commission sell off

At this rate there won't be anything left to govern.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Forestry Commission sell off

Girl on TV was saying that sell-off would only save about £15m per year which is like paying 1p of a credit card debt.
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,820
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Forestry Commission sell off

and who do you think will be buying this forestry land? ? ? ?  why, wealthy conservative people of course, who only have their own interests at heart. ...  Angry
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,101
Registered: 10-09-2010

Re: Forestry Commission sell off

Quote from: gleneagles
This has already started to happen with one example in Cumbria where Rigg Wood was sold and now notices have been put up to say "Private Land"
Depending on how long the land was open to the public before it was sold into private hands, it may well be that many parts of the wood have become public rights of way, I have little idea who you would need to talk to though to get that established.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Forestry Commission sell off

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Forestry Commission sell off

this is OUR land.  they have no right to sell it off.  they've sold our gold, our family silver and now they want to privatise all our national institutions.  how do we stop these vandals robbing us blind?
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,100
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Forestry Commission sell off

Quote from: artificer
this is OUR land.  they have no right to sell it off. ....

Interesting concept, would you elaborate more please?
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Forestry Commission sell off

  1.
      Forestry Commission News
      Petition Sign Up Here. Save Ancient Woodlands & Save The Tree Sell Off
      www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/
Search Results
  1.
      Ministers plan huge sell off of Britain's forests - Telegraph
      23 Oct 2010 ... Ministers are planning a massive sell-off of Britain's Government-owned ... "But the Forestry Commission does more than just grow trees. ...
      www.telegraph.co.uk/.../Ministers-plan-huge-sell-off-of-Britains-forests.html
  2.
      Government clears path for Forestry Commission sell-off plan - 29 ...
      Proposals expected to provide a boost to the biomass energy sector, but greengroups remain concerned over commercialisation of the countryside, Legislation, ...
      www.businessgreen.com/.../government-clears-path-forestry-commission-sell-plan - Cached
  3.
      Forests sell-off plan by government is 'asset-stripping our ...
      24 Oct 2010 ... I would like to know if there is any proposed sell-off near to me so ... The Forestry Commission was set up to provide pit-props - hence the ...
      www.guardian.co.uk/.../forests-government-heritage-private-developers - Cached
Community Veteran
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Registered: 24-09-2008

Re: Forestry Commission sell off

Quote from: okrzynska
At this rate there won't be anything left to govern.

So we won't need a government Roll eyes, .........Like Belgium hasn't had a government for 9 months, has anybody noticed?
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Forestry Commission sell off

just reading a RSPB mag, looked it up and found this  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-12242268
Quote
The company behind a deal to sell a 23,000-acre (93 sq km) estate in Powys is expected to make a decision about its future next month.
Utilities firm Severn Trent will vote on its favoured bid for Lake Vyrnwy at a board meeting in early February.
The only known bidders for the popular beauty spot are businessman Rhys Jones, and the RSPB and Mid Wales Housing.

the RSPB are worried that the buyer might no be eco friendly
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Forestry Commission sell off

Is the land managed by the Forestry Commission actually 'common land' or is it land which has been gifted to the country by a private individual or company?
--
3Mb FTTC
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Simon_M
Grafter
Posts: 684
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Forestry Commission sell off

I don't think it's necessarily any of those, although some might be.
Some might have been acquired in lieu of death duties, but that would be the same as having been bought, I would have thought, rather than gifted.
I think much of the original purpose of the Forestry Commission was to increase the supply of pit props when wood was in short supply around the time of WW1. Hence much criticism at the time of how they were despoiling the countryside by planting rows of featureless conifers.
Might be interesting to research how they did get a lot of their initial land - if it was by compulsory purchase then there is an argument that it should first be offered back to the original owners.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,101
Registered: 10-09-2010

Re: Forestry Commission sell off

In general, most Forestry Commission land was bought commercially by the Forestry Commission in the years since the First World War.  My understanding is the Forestry Commission does not control, and certainly cannot own, any common land.
The Forestry Commission has always been largely, a national asset managed for profit and safety of supply in time of war.
In terms of selling off The Forestry Commission as a for profit organisation whose original purpose has probably passed, or at least seems remote, I have no problem, the problem I have is that much of The Forestry Commission land has been opened up to the public and so we loose not only the asset for sale (the commercial exploitation of forests) but also all that freedom of access we enjoyed.
The coalition will make no friends at all with this move beyond a handful of new land owners.
Simon_M
Grafter
Posts: 684
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Forestry Commission sell off

As you say, the original reason for the state owning forestry has probably passed. It's never proved itself much good at running any other industry.
The last government introduced new rules to regulate public access to land which is in private ownership, so it doesn't necessarily follow that state ownership is needed to allow access.
It costs money to allow public access & there are a number of ways this can be generated.
You can charge admission, so those that benefit pay, but this rules out those that can't afford to pay or who don't think the benefit is worth paying for.
You can subsidise forestry ownership to compensate for the cost, which means all taxpayers pay a bit, whether they go or not (which is effectively what happens at the moment).
You can regulate to enforce access without compensation, which reduces the profitability of forestry, meaning the cost is shared between the tax payer (lower tax on profits) & the owners (mostly all our pension funds).
I think I'd favour the last one, so long as the rules were clear at the time of the sale. It would reduce the sale price though, so less deficit reduction & more pain elsewhere.