Government decision to halt woodlands sell-off welcomed by MP
MP Tessa Munt has this week welcomed the news that government
proposals to sell off publicly-owned forests has been scrapped.
said she is "delighted" that David Heath MP, her Somerset
parliamentary neighbour and DEFRA Minister, has accepted the findings
of an independent panel on forestry.
panel overturned an earlier decision by the government to sell
15% of the UK's publicly-owned forests.
said: "Selling off our precious woodlands as part of Government
cuts was always a bad idea. Public pressure has won the day and
I am confident we now have a sensible and positive future for
are crucial for preserving wildlife, enjoying walking, cycling
and horse riding, storing carbon dioxide and cleaning our air,
and have the potential to provide sustainable employment in our
beautiful rural area."
Heath has agreed to set up a new trust to hold the Forestry Estate
in public ownership for the perpetual benefit of the nation.
has also committed the Government to increasing the protection
of trees, improvement of access for the general public and expansion
of English woodland cover by 20% before 2060.