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Andrew Mitchell: Safeguarding the future of our forests

Andrew Mitchell MP has reassured residents of Sutton Coldfield about the Government’s decision to look at ownership of the Public Forest Estate.

The Government is consulting on the future of the nation’s forests. It is looking at whether the heritage forests would be better run by charitable trusts, whether communities would be interested in running areas of local woodland and whether state-owned woodland which is already set aside for commercial use would be more effectively and more efficiently run by private investors.

Andrew Mitchell MP said:

“From my post bag it is evident that people in Sutton Coldfield are concerned about the future of our forests so I would like to reassure my constituents about the Government’s decision to look at ownership of the Public Forest Estate.

“It is right to consider who is best placed to own and manage our forests and what role there can be for government, communities, charitable trusts and the private sector. It is also right to end the irresponsible practice of selling woodland without adequate protections which took place under the previous Government.

“The Government has made clear that, without exception, rights of public access will be guaranteed, heritage forests protected, communities put first and biodiversity preserved. No other approach would be desirable or acceptable.

“This is not an unthinking sell-off, it is an open-minded look at how we can best secure the future of our forest estate.”

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