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Trust launches forests appeal

Posted 31 January 2011
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Trust launches forests appeal
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The National Trust has joined the ranks of those concerned over the future of England's forests amid government plans to sell them off.

It has launched a consultation aimed at finding ideas to establish the best means of preserving access and environmental protection in such locations, saying it wishes to work with various bodies and individuals in this endeavour.

These include local groups, non-governmental organisations, conservationists and individual members of the public.

Among this may be many who like to go walking in the woods and forests of England.

Responding sceptically to government claims the sale of Forestry Commission land will not have negative consequences, it said: "The Secretary of State has given assurances that access, conservation and the amenity value of these forests will be guaranteed in perpetuity. But there is, as yet, no explanation as to how this will be ensured."

Many have opposed any sale of the forests, but the Ramblers has said it is not ownership that matters but access, arguing that privatisation is acceptable if five criteria it has set out for accessibility and local influence are met.

However, it has stated the plans do not meet these criteria in their current form.