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Forests 'still not out of woods'

Posted 21 February 2011
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Forests 'still not out of woods'
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Some of England's publicly-owned forests could yet be sold, a rally has been warned, something that could see cyclists unable to enjoy using mountain bikes in the woods.

The gathering held on Saturday (February 19th) at Whinlatter had been intended as a protest against proposed sales, but became a victory rally after the government dropped the controversial policy last week.

However, speakers representing the Save Lakeland's Forests pressure group said the new legislation may still allow ministers to sell up to 15 per cent of Forestry Commission land - which could amount to as much as 40 per cent of Lake District woodland.

The body said it will monitor developments, including the deliberations of the panel the government will now set up to consider future forestry policy.

One organisation that may be involved in this is the Ramblers, which offered to be part of the process last week in the wake of the u-turn.

Chief executive Tom Franklin stated: "As the walking experts, we are looking forward to engaging with the government to ensure that access to our forests is protected now and always."