Published: February 2, 2013
Government decision to halt woodlands sell-off welcomed by MP

Burnham-On-Sea MP Tessa Munt has this week welcomed the news that government proposals to sell off publicly-owned forests has been scrapped.

She 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.

The panel overturned an earlier decision by the government to sell 15% of the UK's publicly-owned forests.

Tessa 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 our woodlands."

"Trees 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."

David Heath has agreed to set up a new trust to hold the Forestry Estate in public ownership for the perpetual benefit of the nation.

He 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.


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