England Best-Loved Forests And Woodlands May Be Sold To Large Landowners, housing developers and international
"Tonight, conservationists and opposition parties as well as landowners warned that the land sale would be a costly disaster unless stringent safeguards were put in place." - MY COMMENT >> I wouldn't trust 'stringent safeguards' however strigent, as far as I could throw them. Once the land is in private hands it is gone, gone, gone.
As for any idea that the poor innocent government that must do this right for the benefit of all - this is the Tory government that is carrying on the tradition started centuries ago with the Enclosure Acts of throwing people off the land.Amplify’d from www.guardian.co.uk
Bluebells in Heartwood forest, Hertfordshire. Photograph: Felix Clay
Many of England's best-loved forests and woodlands may be sold to large landowners, housing developers and international power companies in what could be the UK's greatest change of land ownership since the second world war.
Caroline Spelman, the environment secretary, is expected to announce a new strategy later this week that will lay the foundations for more than 150,000 hectares of forest and other land owned by the state in England to be sold within three years.
Tonight, conservationists and opposition parties as well as landowners warned that the land sale would be a costly disaster unless stringent safeguards were put in place.
In addition landowners warned that the land could be snapped up by industrialists with no concern for the environment or landscape value. "I have no doubt that this is something our members would be interested in. What we would be concerned about is if the land is put on the market all at the same time. This would enable industrial landowners to buy them all up and aggressively control the market", said Mike Seville, forestry and woodland advisor for the Country Landowners' Association.
In England the commission is subsidised by £30m a year, but generates an additional £63m a year in income. A government economic study released earlier this year calculated that it provides £2,100 in value per hectare per year if benefits such as erosion protection, pollution absorption, carbon sequestration, health provision are included.
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