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Government Withdraws Forestry Proposals

Following the widespread public opposition to Government proposals in the Public Bodies Bill that would have enabled the sale of the public forest estate without preserving some rights of access, the Government announced on 17 February that it planned to remove the forestry clauses from the Bill and end the parallel public consultation that was underway. Instead it plans to establish an independent Panel to consider forestry policy in England to report in the autumn of 2011. The full DEFRA statement is here. Walkers’ campaigning bodies such as the Ramblers have welcomed these changes and the opportunity to work with Government to ensure that walkers’ interests are protected as the debate moves forward.

Previous related LDWA news items are at: Forestry Sales Consultation and Concerns over the Public Bodies Bill.