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Lake District enthusiasts call for re-think on forests

Posted 21 January 2011
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Lake District enthusiasts call for re-think on forests
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The government should re-think plans to sell off Forestry Commission land, the Wainwright Society has argued.

Such a move may present those jumping on mountain bikes with less interesting valleys to enjoy in the future because new landowners may restore old patterns of dense, uniform forestry.

The body said Alfred Wainwright's laments about the blanket covering of Ennerdale with conifers led to a change in policy by the Forestry Commission, with more mixed woodland emerging.

Chairman of the society Eric Robson claimed government efforts to get the best price will be achieved in exchange for little regulation of environmental standards.

He added: "This could lead to a return to mono-culture plantings and severely restricted access for groups such as walkers, mountain bikers and horse riders."

Such pressure could lead to changes to the plans, which may be a relief for those donning their cycling gear and heading to places such as Ennerdale.

The valley has a particularly strong connection with Alfred Wainwright, as it constitutes part of his coast-to-coast walk.