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Minister insists no "done deal" on forests

Posted 7 February 2011
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Minister insists no "done deal" on forests
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The possible sale of Forestry Commission land in England is not a "done deal", environment secretary Caroline Spelman has insisted.

In an interview with the BBC Politics Show yesterday (Sunday February 6th), Ms Spelman insisted many claims that people would be unable to go walking in the forests after they were sold off are untrue and noted the 12-week consultation process is just two weeks old.

She said the consultation was "genuinely open", something that could mean the government will be willing to scrap the idea if there is sufficient public opposition.

And the Department for Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods has released a statement denying it has made a U-turn on the possible sale of England's national nature reserves, responding to a Sunday Times report by saying no such plans ever existed.

Opposition to the possible sale of forests in England has come from many quarters, with the campaigning website stating it has to date collected 468,000 signatures from people keen to keep them in public ownership.