Published: February 1, 2011
Burnham-On-Sea MP 'horrified' at Forestry Commission consultation

Burnham-On-Sea's MP has this week said she is "horrified" at a consultation on selling off Forestry Commission land across the UK.

Tessa Munt has met with Caroline Spelman, the Secretary of State, twice over the past week to discuss the proposed sales and says she is shocked that a three month consultation by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on the plans - which began last Thursday - does not include the first 100,000 acres of woodland to be sold off.

She has welcomed a House of Commons debate calling for greater scrutiny of the Government's plans to sell off the land, adding that it will send a clear message to DEFRA that much greater transparency is needed, and also demonstrate the need for specific details about protection measures to ensure continued access, biodiversity and woodland protection in the future.

She told "I have written again to Caroline Spelman, the Secretary of State, to raise my concerns. Protection must be in place, which may mean tabling an amendment to the Public Bodies Bill when it comes to the House of Commons."

"As it stands, it is likely that this Bill would give DEFRA Ministers freedom to change the Forestry Commission and sell off, lease or give away all publicly-owned forestry land without further recourse to Parliament."

Tessa is pictured with Steve Mewes from Wedmore Green Group in a Community Wood in Wedmore

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