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Should we sell our forests?

09:06 UK time, Thursday, 27 January 2011

The government is launching a consultation on its plans to sell off publicly-owned forests in England. Is a sale of forests a good idea?

The plan could lead to the sale of all land in England owned by the Forestry Commission, totalling 2,500 sq km. The government says nature and rights of access will still be protected.

Forests in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will not be affected by the plans which campaigners in England have called "unconscionable".

How should public forests and woods be managed? Should forests be kept in public ownership for future generations? Does it matter if forests are publicly or privately owned? How can the government preserve public access to forests?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 10

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    "Should we sell our forests?"

    a) what is the UK government doing in the forestry business?

    b) the nation owes more than £3.5 trillion national debt so the money would be useful to pay our debts.

    therefore yes, sell.

  • Comment number 3.

    No-one seems to be asking who will pay for the upkeep of privatised forests. The government constantly tells us that tax money is OUR money. If the presnt costs of maintaining our forests and woodlands is borne by us at the moment surely it will still be borne by us either through charging for access or increased commercial exploitation.

  • Comment number 4.

    Certainly not. I thought we'd moved past this. Wasn't selling vast tracts of our heritage land to a wealthy elite what we did during the 19th century?

  • Comment number 5.

    At long last - I've been waiting on this debate all week - better late than never eh BBC...
    This is a bad idea. Like everything else that has been sold off to the private sector the investment will dwindle and the focus will be on profit. What's best for sustaining and nuturing the woodland will go out the window.

  • Comment number 6.

    The forests are publicly owned, they are managed by the poorly funded foresty commission and I think that they should be left alone as part of our heritage and the countryside.

    The private sector will ring fence them and remove access, access is not always a right but as it stands many people have access and dog walk, ride horses, bikes, do orienteering or just picnic. If these loose arrangements are taken away where do people go?

    The forest is the landscape of the UK, farming of the landscape through the Forestry Commission was always done with care and great sections of forest were left and only selected trees were cut down. Private industry/emterprise will do what they always do, rape the land for profits and to hell with anyone else.

    This land should be entrusted to the Forestry Commission or to UK based community not for profit organistaions like National Trust.

    Thatcher sold the industries and utilities now her heirs are selling what is left.

    Yes I am the 1st to mention Thatcher....sorry.

  • Comment number 7.

    The Forestry Commission is a hundred year experiment that failed. I cannot think of a single organisation that has done more damage to Britain's wildlife, and for what? Even after a hundred year the timber has never made a profit, and in many areas conservation bodies are having to pay to get rid of the poor quality conifers that have damaged ancient woods,heaths and moorland.

    Although the Forestry Commission is gradually slowly reforming, they are still sadly doing damage - replanting of alien conifers is still going on on valuable Dorset heaths that should be restored.

    But here is a chance to make amends - instead of selling the FC land for a piffling few hundred million, why not GIVE the forests to conservation bodies? Taxpayer saves the current FC losses, access is kept and everyone benefits! Simpelz!

  • Comment number 8.

    Well I would have to look at the ins and outs of this more to know the answer to this, but I understand that the country only owns 20% of our forests and the ones that are privately owned are under strict regulations for preservation and public access. If these can be guaranteed any development is completely banned (and I do not mean that a hefty fined is levied to those that can afford it) then that is fine. The companies that buy these forests should only do so in a management capacity. It will raise money for the country and I do think that there should be a clause that states that the country can buy back any of this land in the future if they decide to do so. But any buildings have to be under strict guidelines and add to the experience of people (such as huts that are in keeping with the surroundings but only in certain parts of the woodlands). I do not see the problem if it is strictly in a management capacity but not if it gives them free reign to develop on the land and ban public access. I have read that these will all be safeguarded and nearly 70% of our woodland is already under private ownership. All wildlife has also got to be protected along with the trees and plant life.

  • Comment number 9.

    The government says existing access of way will be maintained but this is doubtful for many Forests. The reason is that access to many Forests, in particular the Forest of Dean, is largely dependent on permissive paths, built and maintained by the Forestry Commission.

    This is very different from private forestry companies who by definition are mainly driven by the need for profit, or individuals seeking their own private woodland.

    Even if the government does get a commitment from new owners to maintain permissive paths, what is the conveyencing method by which they can force subsequent owners to honour this.

  • Comment number 10.

    They will do just as they please so our thoughts or even referendum are of no point. One of the last few slices of public owned assets to be bought up by "businessmen" cheap and sold on for millions profit to foreign companies (in this case after exploiting as much hardwood asset as possible) Once again proposals voted on by all of Britains MP's? at Westminster that don't apply to Wales & Scotland who will retain their natural amenity while England loses (again)

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    Has not taken them long has it - once again, the CONservaTHEFT party is looking to steal what does not belong to it to sell. Just like the last time they had any sanction to do so.

    Again, we will have an ecomomy run on stolen money. Easy to make money when its stolen from the public. Anyone could do that, even Bamkers. Even Osbourne.

    And of their LIMPeral collaborators?.....

    Clegg, say something! Clegg, where are you?!

  • Comment number 13.

    Oh just great. The forests will get sold off to unscrupulous individuals and companies which will:

    1) Chop them all down, in order to build yet more housing which will just encourage yet more people into this overcrowded island.

    2) Fence them off so that the public can't access them.

    If the forests are going to be sold off, it has to be on the strict conditions that they are kept open for public access and NOT cut down. In fact, one of the conditions should be to actively manage the forests and to increase the size of them were possible.

  • Comment number 14.

    This seems to me to be a very silly idea. I appreciate that we need the money, but to sell off our forests seems to be a rather short sighted way of raising some money. The forests wont be maintained as well and public access will no doubt become limited. This just seems like a poorly thought out idea to me on every level.

  • Comment number 15.

    This makes me feel uncomfortable.

    I would very much prefer the old English way of "landlord".

  • Comment number 16.

    This government would sell their own mothers if they thought they could blame Labour for doing it!

  • Comment number 17.

    Selling off England's forests is an absolutely terrible idea. Who on earth could see the logic in taking a publicly-owned asset and flogging it to a bunch of wealthy tax-avoiders? Oh, silly me, the Condems of course: a coalition which seems to be able to put a price on everything but values absolutely nothing.
    England's forests don't belong to the government. They belong to us, the people. No government should be able to sell them - ever. Once they're gone, there will be no way of getting them back.

  • Comment number 18.

    What will change? The forrests will still be protected by law just as it is now so what difference will be made?

    How will the private companies make money from it? Its reported that more people visit the forrests than the sea side so maybe its not a bad idea if public rights of access are still in place.

    Without knowing what difference it will make it is hard to judge. However the extra money to pay the debts could be good.

  • Comment number 19.

    The country is being paved over to provide housing for our immigration-driven population boom.

    The BBC carries, and echoes, calls for yet more building. People who object are routinely decried as 'nimbies'
    -----------------
    This has nothing to do with immigrants unless you happen to mean Russian Multimillionaires but has much to do with providing suitable venues for the Tories hooray chums to participate in their various versions of shooting animals or hitting a little white ball into a hole!

  • Comment number 20.

    The government cannot make sure of reasonable access by the public because they block the car parke off which they are allowed do and the public have to walk 10 mile before they can gain access and forestry is a good loophole for tax evasion as prodit from selling trees is not taxable under certain conditions as I have said before The wealth of the country in the hands of the few

  • Comment number 21.

    12. At 10:23am on 27 Jan 2011, JonDM wrote:

    Has not taken them long has it - once again, the CONservaTHEFT party is looking to steal what does not belong to it to sell. Just like the last time they had any sanction to do so.

    Again, we will have an ecomomy run on stolen money. Easy to make money when its stolen from the public. Anyone could do that, even Bamkers. Even Osbourne.

    And of their LIMPeral collaborators?.....

    Clegg, say something! Clegg, where are you?!

    -----------------------

    Stolen money? Is that not pensions? Gold? or just spending every penny we give them and more on stupid projects nobody wants?

    P.S. that was the last gov. This is the aftermath

  • Comment number 22.

    Absolutely not, how dare they.
    DO NOT ALLOW THESE THIEVES TO SELL OUR HERITAGE TO THEIR BUDDIES FOR PROFIT.


    Conservatives never change, ITS THE POORS FAULT DAMN THOSE UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE, PRIVATISE PRIVATISE PRIVATISE.

    There is no society big or small without a degree of SOCIALism.

    Want to save money then it is simple SPEND LESS.
    For example every single constituency has a council building surely it makes more sense for the Members constituency office to be in a building that the public already own so we do not have to pay rent, instead of at the local conservative association who charges the tax payer for the office of the member of parliament. Mps Salaries should be cut to no more than £50k expenses should be means tested. ALL BENEFITS and entitlements should be means tested, it is not right that a multimillionaire with multiple homes charges the tax payer for a 2nd home allowance , it is also not right that a multi millionaire claims disability living allowance either.

  • Comment number 23.

    "Should we sell our forests?"

    a) what is the UK government doing in the forestry business?

    b) the nation owes more than £3.5 trillion national debt so the money would be useful to pay our debts.

    therefore yes, sell.


    Seconded!

    We are skint thanks to the last lot, we need money not trees.

  • Comment number 24.

    I didn't realise the I owned most of the forests in this country? I was under the impression that I had to ask permission to wild camp in these from the land owner. If I knew I was the land owner then I would not have written so many letters to myself asking myself permission to wild camp using paper made from trees? Does it really matter who owns them as long as the laws on the use of these do not change!

    I do think that if certain sectors own the forest then they will have their own agenda and we will see a reduction in forest land. So perhaps they should be protected from specific use indefinately!

  • Comment number 25.

    I assume we will also then not need a Forestry Commission saving us even more money.

  • Comment number 26.

    30 pence or £756 or £14,000
    It costs a estimated 30p per annum per person to fund the Forestry Commission.
    Today it is reported that fraud, most of which is within the public sector, equates to over £750 per person per annum and the banks bailout support is estimated at a one off cost of just under £14,000 per individual taxpayer.
    30p for our Forests seems exceptionally good value.

  • Comment number 27.

    Selling the forests will simply mean that buyers (business) will then need to recover the purchase costs plus make future profit.

    Even if all rights to roam and the forests maintained, the products (timber) and forestry services will simply cost a lot more, making us less competitive.

    It may also dictate a decline in ethnic UK workers in forestry and their benefits (think of the Royal Mail) and an increase in related cheap labour immigration, thus more pressure on resources.

    We've already sold off much of our crown jewels (eg: energy, water) to foreign owners, the bottom line is the economy suffers, prices increase and profits leave the UK.

    Underneath, isn't this all really about the Public Sector trying to keep itself in the style to which it has become accustomed? ie: by maximising treasury cash flow regardless of the long term effect.

    Perhaps the public should be invited to buy chunks? but we already own it don't we?

  • Comment number 28.

    Can't say I care really. This country is over-populated with grabbers who don't give a damn about the environment. Besides we will soon be back to the days of the horse and cart so very few will be able to enjoy the countryside anyway. Despite thinking they are the most precious, the paradox of the effect of the most expendable lifeform on the planet has over the rest of the planet is lost on many.

  • Comment number 29.

    We have a beautiful country. Common land areas should be kept in the public domain. There is absolutely no reason for them to be sold to private companies. Car parks will be charged and quite possibly the public will be charged an admission fee to enable the up keep of the land. Private sector companies are driven by profits and also paying dividends to shareholders.

    Keep public green areas for the public. If the government wants to bring in private companies to only maintain these areas then fine but they should never be transferred into private ownership.

  • Comment number 30.

    This is just a crazy idea??? who will buy all the public owned forest land? The banks and big business or overseas' investors to sell them to the buy to let landlords, or property barons. What will happen to all The British wild-life? After they have cut down all the trees' and put up blocks of flats all aroung the U.K. The private sector will have hotels in conservation areas' and rape all the country side for a quick profit {No more Englands green and pleasent land} just concrete and tarmac.

  • Comment number 31.

    Is a sale of forests a good idea?No!

  • Comment number 32.

    run by charities? who will pay for the charities? us the tx payer of course, dont be fooled by the "charity m8" and politicians sayi it is nil cost to us. i work in the prision service and the proposed charity intervention is being paid for by you the public, they take form the service and pay at inflated rates for drug and housing advice. the forests will be sold for building, not for public access. these con merchants will stop at nothing to strip this once glorious land of any asset it has in the pretence of saving the economy. 200 million to scrap planes already built shows you thier integrity.

  • Comment number 33.

    Absolutely 100% against this.

    The price they will get will be a pittance compared to any Departments budget, or indeed the debt, therefore it would be pointless.

    I would also like to comment on the gov't decision to scrap the Nimrods, a project that cost the nation £4bn, but by scrapping it (at an additional cost of £200m) will save £2billion OVER 10 YEARS. So it saves £200m a year!!!! that's peanuts compared to our debt. But senior retired MOD staff are suggesting it leaves the UK's defences much much weaker!!! Just where are gov't getting their ideas from??

  • Comment number 34.

    Certainly NOT

    No ifs or buts - NO to privatisation.

    Access will be denied - or there will be a levy or entrance fee.

    This Coalition Government is not to be trusted in any way - except to line the pockets of the rich.

  • Comment number 35.

    Why don't the ConDem's just put up "A For Sale Sign" on the whole of the Country.

  • Comment number 36.

    Why not sell the whole country - we might just raise enough to pay off our national debts.

    Then the government can resign and call it a day!! And if there is anything left over give it to the bankers as a bonus.

  • Comment number 37.

    They should not be sold off and if they are then you can bet your bottom pound that at some future date those private companies that buy them will be asking for subsidies which we will be funded by OUR taxes.
    Whatever agreements that are put in place now will be slowly eroded over time to allow privatisation to do what it wants to bring about the real agenda which is to own public property outright.
    Perhaps the government should put ads in the newspapers and on TV saying 'Britain up for sale. Hurry, as there are only a few things left due to previous sales.'

  • Comment number 38.

    We should be planting more trees and creating new forests ,even making new national parks.We need to set an example to the world.Forests are carbon capture in action.We need more not less.

  • Comment number 39.

    Well...we've sold the railways and most of its land,the gas,water,electric are now clearly in foreign hands,we're considering selling the odd port or two,now its the forests for the rich or elite few.so...who knows what's next from the tory pawnbrokers?the graveyards, hospitals,schools,roads,air, mountains and bones of cigarette smokers?

  • Comment number 40.

    After a few months of reading BBC HYS, I really worry for this country.

    The rich are greedy. They have ruined this country. Selling woodland to the private sector is just another nail in the coffin.

  • Comment number 41.

    The future of Forestry Commission land certainly needs a rethink.

    Blanketing once-beautiful upland moor and hillsides with oppressive conifers - Sitka being the worst by far - did nothing for flora and fauna. Gone were the heathers and cross-leaved heaths, acid grassland, gorse and broom; gone were the upland species of bird and invertebrate. Anyone who has surveyed forestry in upland areas will know just how badly degraded the environment became from the moment new plantations were created. Some recreational tourists might think them pretty, but there is little or no life in them, except for specialist species - and even then they're infrequent.

    Over two seasons, I was appointed to survey one forest to determine whether it was suitable for reintroduction of Black Grouse. My report demonstrated that there were several suitable zones for their release. And what came of it? Nothing at all from the FC, not even an acknowledgment. For invertebrates, I have also recommended the widening of rides and glades, for butterflies and moths particularly. What came of that? Again, nothing at all. The FC has, however, allowed the Wales GB rallies there, wrecking the tracks and littering them with bottles and cans.

    The FC's blinkered approach must be replaced with fresh, more expansive ideas. Land sold must carry with it stringent covenants as to their use and management.

  • Comment number 42.

    21. At 10:32am on 27 Jan 2011, in_the_uk wrote:
    12. At 10:23am on 27 Jan 2011, JonDM wrote:

    Has not taken them long has it - once again, the CONservaTHEFT party is looking to steal what does not belong to it to sell. Just like the last time they had any sanction to do so.

    Again, we will have an ecomomy run on stolen money. Easy to make money when its stolen from the public. Anyone could do that, even Bamkers. Even Osbourne.

    And of their LIMPeral collaborators?.....

    Clegg, say something! Clegg, where are you?!

    -----------------------

    Stolen money? Is that not pensions? Gold? or just spending every penny we give them and more on stupid projects nobody wants?

    P.S. that was the last gov. This is the aftermath

    ===================================================

    Yes you are right - the pensions that the Bankers have plundered and ruined for thousands - ask the pension stakeholders of Northern Rock and the Equitable Life fiascos if you dont believe me.

    I think you will find your right wing off topic mantra is in the minority on this forum.

  • Comment number 43.

    Classic case of killing two birds with one stone - or - throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    Some keen as mustard, super saving money guru has suggested 'flog off the trees, ... eventually no need for a Forestry Commission, get rid of more jobs, ... save squillions - only one problem - THE GOVERNMENT OF THE DAY HAS/WILL HAVE, NO MANDATE FOR PROSTITUTING THE COUNTRYSIDE!

    Enough is enough. Typical arrogance from a newly elected government.

    PS Whoever has already sold off 15% of what was potentially 'for sale' better have deep pockets - because I can foresee litigation. What a bare faced cheek.

  • Comment number 44.

    Who gave anyone the right to sell the forests? The forestry commission are employed to look after the forests. They do not own it, it is owned by the nation and this is what the forestry commission should realise.

  • Comment number 45.

    England is to be chopped up by a hand full of mp's starting with land areas of forrests,not nice at all for forrest dwellers,who may have to shift a little to the right or else get the chop,the normans are still around,prancing about in the people's quarters of the house of commons,urging the sale of woodland to some foreigner in exchange for a place in the oil fields in the middle east,will mean the return of the hawk and hound followed by a dozen or so middle eastern gentlemen tallyho'ing through the early morning sunlit trees of a recent purchase.If land in england is in public ownership people should demand to see the title deeds and also demand to know if the sale of land will be of a public auction nature,and not a creepy crawly sale under the carpet type of mind your own nose kind of sale.
    To sell land off is bad news for england,land in scotland went the same way,but ofcourse when land is purchased to save the interests of a bankrupt nation then who can tell what will be sold next?
    Would it not be in the interest of people with their hearts and souls invested in the bodies of natural woodlands to object to government selling off their beloved nation.

  • Comment number 46.

    Being aware that the highways agency plants more trees and shrubs per year than any all the forestries together, NO.

    If we are to encourage sustainable energy, we realy do need to get it into private concerns, so as to encourage more financial growth, although they will seriously need to look at what prodcuts to grow, and keep an eye on quantity of each soft or hard woods to maximise growth.

  • Comment number 47.

    18. At 10:27am on 27 Jan 2011, in_the_uk wrote:

    What will change? The forrests will still be protected by law just as it is now so what difference will be made?

    How will the private companies make money from it? Its reported that more people visit the forrests than the sea side so maybe its not a bad idea if public rights of access are still in place.

    Without knowing what difference it will make it is hard to judge. However the extra money to pay the debts could be good.

    -_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_


    Well, someone is not going to buy land that they cannot do anything with. They will probably charge quite a lot for people to go on to it and no doubt will build on it as the laws of ownership will no doubt be changed.

  • Comment number 48.

    Like Green Belt, once the land falls into private hands constant vigilance will be needed to make sure the amenity of the woods is not damaged in an attempt to realise, illegally, profit from them.

    This will not be entirely successful, it could never be, and such measures as do succeed will cost us.

    By their very nature, surveillance of them will be difficult.

  • Comment number 49.

    35. At 10:45am on 27 Jan 2011, afreethinker wrote:
    Why don't the ConDem's just put up "A For Sale Sign" on the whole of the Country.

    =======================================

    No point - no one would get a mortgage! :-)

  • Comment number 50.

    Absolutely not: A whole bunch of coppices got sold off under Thatcher in the 1980s. Every single one of them was cut down, the timber sold off for a fast buck and the now empty fields also sold off or left as wasteland. A bit like British Rail, really. . .

  • Comment number 51.

    This government CANNOT be alowed to sell off what is not theirs. It belongs to the sovriegn people of England (I suggest the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish start making the same noises) and permissions MUST be obtained from the soveriegn people of England before they do this. I suggest the people of England wake up and see what is happening now before MORE of our freedoms are taken away.

  • Comment number 52.

    None of the guarantees offered are credible. You only have to look at the history of privatisation that the guarantees offered to make the sell to the public are always betrayed later. You cannot trust these people on these issues.

    We should retain ownership of the forest we still have in the public list. No more should be sold. Once we lived in a land of forest and it was common and then the Normans privatised it and a man could no longer hunt a deer. Remember Robin Hood for the myth resonates even today and our forests should remain our forests. The cadre of Etonians running the show in both parties are the same robber barons that accompanies William across the channel all those years ago.

  • Comment number 53.

    Of course not but venture capital needs a home and there isn't much left apart from our woodlands and Stonehenge.

  • Comment number 54.

    2. At 10:13am on 27 Jan 2011, Paul J Weighell wrote:

    "Should we sell our forests?"

    a) what is the UK government doing in the forestry business?

    b) the nation owes more than £3.5 trillion national debt so the money would be useful to pay our debts.

    therefore yes, sell.


    ..................



    The government doesn't own the forests, we the public do. And they want to sell them on our behalf to achieve an excessively over exaggerated goal before the next general election. Once they have been sold off the forest they will be gone forever.

    Do you really think that these forests will be kept and maintained as they are? No they will become commercialized, and all it will take is for a future change in law to allow them to be chopped down and built upon.

    Anyone willing to buy the woodland will do so with business and profit in mind, and you can almost guarantee that buyers will not necessarily come from England and will not have English interests in mind.


    The debt is nothing compared to losing the woodland for future generations.

  • Comment number 55.

    1. At 10:08am on 27 Jan 2011, Masons Arms wrote:

    The country is being paved over to provide housing for our immigration-driven population boom.

    The BBC carries, and echoes, calls for yet more building. People who object are routinely decried as 'nimbies'.

    It seems odd to me that the BBC is suddenly interested in protecting the countryside, when it actively supports the policy - immigration - that's the biggest threat to it.

    -----------

    Yes, it's all the fault of the BBC and immigration...
    Give it a rest, it's so boring.

  • Comment number 56.

    Forestry is controlled by Government Agencies for the people.

    I don't know what protection clauses are built in to the bidding system but I'm sure any company wanting to protect commercial gain will have the legal advisers to circumvent them.

    This is a sell off for sell off's sake. It will not enhance the British Countryside.

    This is a small term financial gain that will result in long term aesthetic and ecological loss.

    People complain about Gordon Brown selling off gold reserves.
    The ConDems are about to sell of something far more precious, our green and pleasant land.

  • Comment number 57.

    Why would any commercial interest want to buy them if, as the government says, nothing regarding access or nature changes? If the Forestry Commission cannot make money, or much money, whichever is the case, whoever wanted to buy them would have to change the way things are done or they could not justify the purchase. What restrictions would a private companies insurers demand? New owners would be citing 'Health & Safety' to impose restrictions before the ink had dried on the contract. The whole idea is absurd - the Forestry Commission was created for a reason, and the reason is still valid.

  • Comment number 58.

    Another great Tory wheeze to make the rich even richer.

    They privatise everything within sight, the wonderful heritage of publicly owned assets that this country once could be truly proud of and which served us well continue to be sold off at every opportunity. Our water, electricity, telephone and gas services; our airlines, railways, ports, social housing, these all once belonged to the people.

    What happens when these assets are sold off?

    We continue to subsidise the railways to the tune of billions every year, we pay for water at a rate that increase exponentially, gas and electricity prices grow and grow with the poorest paying the most. The housing shortages are still a chronic scandal and there are still so many slums around the country that reflect even their Victorian origins.

    Who remembers the much derided spectacles provided by the health service, but it put good vision within the reach of all. We were promised that privisation of the service and competition would lower the price of spectacles for everybody, have you seen the prices that they charge down the high street today?

    Even the public investment in BP which could be earning us billions each year has been sold off. The ownership of many of these companies has fallen into foreign hands so that the profits don't even stay in Britain.

    What is happening to such things as our mail services, our waterways they are all being privatised, nothing will remain of what once belonged to the people of Britain.

    Now our forests are to go, the regeneration machines for the very air that we breathe and a source of much pleasure to millions of people as well being a habitat to much British wild life. All kinds of promises will be made but 20 or 30 years down the line these will be swept under the carpet as new schemes are made to generate even more profit for the ultra rich and the trees will disappear as the land is developed for other purposes.

    One day the people of Britain will read their history books (if they can find a public library) and wonder why our generation sold off all these wonderful assets just to enable the rich having to pay a realistic level of income tax. The rich for whom many an ordinary British soldier has died over many generations protecting them and their assets, the rich guarded by our police paid for by the ordinary citizen, the rich who can afford to employ morally corrupt accountants in order to reduce their tax to a tiny proportion of their income or to avoid paying any altogether.

    Don't worry folks, there is plenty left for them to sell off yet, we can't let such wildly revolutionary ideas such as fair taxation be imposed upon those most able to pay.

    Maybe we can privatise the trees that line our streets, the streets in the posh part of town that is.

  • Comment number 59.

    This is complete and utter theft.

    This is OUR land and OUR heritage - it is not their's to sell.

    I will not respect any new private owners rights, as they too are theives.

  • Comment number 60.

    Selling our beautiful forest land to private companys is not a good idea imo. The Gov't could not guarentee access as once they own the land they'll do as they like.

    Balls to Dave and Nick, in years to come their leadership (if i can call it that) of this Gov't will be looked on as a complete sham and epic swindle of TP money.

  • Comment number 61.

    Do love being English.
    Our Government may sell our trees, but not rest of UK's.
    Fuel stabilisers for rest of UK but only parts of england.
    We are all in this together, aren't we?

  • Comment number 62.

    Not everything has a price; and 30p per person is a trivial sum for maintaining what is the soul of the country. Improving bio-diversity and increasing the return of forest to natural woodland requires an holistic approach which will not be possible with a fragmented sell-off.

    The purchasers of this land will gain significant tax advantages. It's ironic that these purchasers are likely to include the rich bankers who we bailed at a cost of £40,000 per tax-paying family.

  • Comment number 63.

    This is merely asset stripping. The government say it`s time for them to step back and let charities take over. Well where does the government think charities get their money from? And if they were to subsidise these charities to push this legislation through then it`s a pointless exercise. Either way it will be us, the public, paying for it so i say leave well alone.

  • Comment number 64.

    FOR GODS SAKE PEOPLE OUT THERE- WAKE UP. WHY ARE THEY PRIVATISING LAND. THEY ARE DOING IT TO PUT US BACK IN TIME SO ONLY THE RICH CAN TAKE BACK WHAT THEY BELIEVE IS THEIRS.ORDINARY PEOPLE WOULD LOSE THE RIGHT TO ROAM AND PRIVATE LAND SIGNS WOULD BE EVIDENT EVERYWHERE.FOX HUNTING WOULD BE RE-INTRODUCED ON THIS PRIVATE LAND.WHY OH WHY DONT A LABOUR GOVERNMENT ACT AS QUICKLY AS THE TORIES WHEN THEY ARE IN POWER TO MAKE LIFE BETTER FOR THE LESS FORTUNATE.IM BEGINNING TO THINK I WILL NEED TO BUY A CAP SO I CAN DOFF IT TO THE NEW LORDS OF THE LAND.

  • Comment number 65.

    There is no money in timber. Whoever buys the forests will need to make money elsewhere. This could be through turning them into hunting reserves for the rich or private golf courses, etc. There would need to be stipulations when the government rides rough shod over the public in this matter. Biggest mistake to date from the Con-dems.

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    JonDM wrote:
    21. At 10:32am on 27 Jan 2011, in_the_uk wrote:
    12. At 10:23am on 27 Jan 2011, JonDM wrote:

    Has not taken them long has it - once again, the CONservaTHEFT party is looking to steal what does not belong to it to sell. Just like the last time they had any sanction to do so.

    Again, we will have an ecomomy run on stolen money. Easy to make money when its stolen from the public. Anyone could do that, even Bamkers. Even Osbourne.

    And of their LIMPeral collaborators?.....

    Clegg, say something! Clegg, where are you?!

    -----------------------

    Stolen money? Is that not pensions? Gold? or just spending every penny we give them and more on stupid projects nobody wants?

    P.S. that was the last gov. This is the aftermath

    ===================================================

    Yes you are right - the pensions that the Bankers have plundered and ruined for thousands - ask the pension stakeholders of Northern Rock and the Equitable Life fiascos if you dont believe me.

    I think you will find your right wing off topic mantra is in the minority on this forum.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    As you know he means the private pensions industry. One of the best pensions industries in the world that was destroyed by the actions of the layabout party. All to pay the workshy to keep voting for them. It seems it worked. Oh, and whats a bamker? Is it someone with a clue about what caused the recession or is it you?

  • Comment number 68.

    I don't think it matters who owns them so long as the public have unrestricted access and they are well managed.

    If this is enshrined in any sale in perpetuity, than I see no reason that they can't be sold to some rich person who can rename it rich-mans forest in his own honour.

    However, I would be completely against the sale if there was any restrictions to public access or if the wealthy owners were allowed to build on them.

  • Comment number 69.

    23. At 10:36am on 27 Jan 2011, RightWingIDBanned wrote:
    "Should we sell our forests?"

    a) what is the UK government doing in the forestry business?

    b) the nation owes more than £3.5 trillion national debt so the money would be useful to pay our debts.

    therefore yes, sell.


    Seconded!

    We are skint thanks to the last lot, we need money not trees.
    -------

    LOL
    3.5 trillion where the hell did you pluck that figure? well how a country with 60m people could double to treble what the usa owes is beyond me! where did you read this ridiculous figure???

  • Comment number 70.

    How about they sell their constituency homes and work for minimum wage before they even consider making decisions like this on our behalf.

  • Comment number 71.

    How will a private company make money from this? By getting paid by the government to maintain the forests. Sounds like another scheme to massage the figures (reduce the civil service payroll) while not actually saving any money.

  • Comment number 72.

    If there has to be a sale it should carry a permanent restrictive covenant which requires that (a) the land be preserved as forest, with no change of use; (b) existing boundaries be maintained or expanded; (c) existing public access be maintained; (d) hunting and shooting be banned, other than culling or vermin control under licence.
    That should allay most public fears while allowing the government to pursue its sale policy - if there are any buyers still interested.

  • Comment number 73.

    Tthe Forestry commission forest near me is an absolute disgrace, a jumble of felled trees which have blocked previously open tracks and rides. The remaining tracks are either boggy or dangerously uneven. The ditches are clogged and ragwort is allowed to flourish with its seeds travelling many mile to recolonise.

    Dog walkers have free access often with packs of uncontrolled dogs whilst horse riders have to pay for access and the risk of encountering the irresponsible dog owners. There have been several rather nasty accidents.

    This does not constitute good or responsible management.

    This particular forest is actually ancient woodland and would be far better off in private ownership.

  • Comment number 74.

    The idea, that the Forestry Commission is the best body to manage the nation's woodlands, is laughable. Forget the notion, that private ownership automatically means the loss of a leisure amenity for the general public.
    A good example of a well-maintained forest in private ownership is the beautiful Rothiemurchus Forest, by Aviemore in the northern Cairngorms. It's one of the last remaining tracts of the ancient Caledonian Forest, and it provides a haven for a rich variety of wildlife, and welcomes walkers, mountain bikers and cross-country skiers to its many paths and tracks. It offers lots of other sports, and provides a large lodge complex, solely for the leisure use of serving and ex-members of our armed forces, and their families.

  • Comment number 75.

    Forestry commision say it takes 30pence, per person per year to run the forsets...

    This is a ridiculous figure - not everyone of the nearly 70million in this country use them, or for that matter live close to use them.

    If you happen to live in such a leafy area and use the forest, then perhaps you should give a 20-50p levey to use them for their maintenaince and uptake.
    Privatise or keep state owned?.whatever - but do something to earn the upkeep

    To divy out taxpayers money for something that does not directly impact every taxpayer makes no financial sense. Neither does borrowing shed loads of money to pay for nice and fluffy services.

  • Comment number 76.

    This has to be the ultimate in stupidity. Will the British Government of whatever colour not be happy until we own absolutely nothing.
    How long before these forests get into the hands of overseas developers who will decimate them for maximum profits. OK there maybe safeguards currently, but give it a few years...
    I think I'm going to buy into cement, there'll be a huge demand for it...

  • Comment number 77.

    59. At 11:06am on 27 Jan 2011, sixpackerL wrote:
    This is complete and utter theft.

    This is OUR land and OUR heritage - it is not their's to sell.

    I will not respect any new private owners rights, as they too are theives.
    ==============================

    Totally correct. If these people are so blind that even they can not see the revulsion this is causing, and they go ahead anyway, it does warrent civillian response.

  • Comment number 78.

    its ALL labours fault!!

    at the end of the day if they had listened to the public and not took the pee the tories would be in power!

    well done labour YOU ruined the country by leavin us no one else to turn to!

  • Comment number 79.

    1. At 10:08am on 27 Jan 2011, Masons Arms wrote:
    The country is being paved over to provide housing for our immigration-driven population boom.

    The BBC carries, and echoes, calls for yet more building. People who object are routinely decried as 'nimbies'.

    It seems odd to me that the BBC is suddenly interested in protecting the countryside, when it actively supports the policy - immigration - that's the biggest threat to it.

    =========================================================================

    Immigration?? You mean the forests are to be sold to immigrants or immigrants have made it so that the forests are being privatised?

    Immigration is always an easy target. I bet you'll also blame the british immigrants in Australia and New Zealand for the recent floods and earthquake respectively.

  • Comment number 80.

    I would add that there NO red squirrels, just the vermin greys, mangy foxes, magpies and an overpopulation of deer.

  • Comment number 81.

    42. At 10:53am on 27 Jan 2011, JonDM wrote:

    Yes you are right - the pensions that the Bankers have plundered and ruined for thousands - ask the pension stakeholders of Northern Rock and the Equitable Life fiascos if you dont believe me.

    I think you will find your right wing off topic mantra is in the minority on this forum.

    ------------------------

    I think your making some bad assumptions there. I disagree with the way the bankers acted. I disagree with the spending of all our money + taking loans.

    People complain that tories sold off all our stuff to private companies. But labour spent all our public money to run our own stuff which means we cant afford to run everything. Labour did the same thing but by other means!

    I want to know how this is going to affect the forrests because it could improve them. Some things are better run privately. But then it could cause problems because some things are better off in the hands of the public.

    So where you get the dumb idea that I am pushing right wing mantra from is beyond me. Maybe you have a chip on your shoulder and looking to insult people?

  • Comment number 82.

    FIRST.

    ITS IMPOSSIBLE for our forests to COMPETE with 3rd world & developing nations prices, just as it is IMPOSSIBLE for our coal,steel and most mass production manufacturing industrys to compete with LOW WAGES and LOWER PRODUCTION COSTS of 3rd world/developing nations.

    So lets just IGNORE this part of the argument because it is 100% NOT RELEVENT.

    then there is this other ignorant point based on pure ignorance and illusional FANTASY-

    2. At 10:13am on 27 Jan 2011, Paul J Weighell wrote:
    "Should we sell our forests?"

    a) what is the UK government doing in the forestry business?

    b) the nation owes more than £3.5 trillion national debt so the money would be useful to pay our debts.

    therefore yes, sell.


    =================================================

    This comment chooses alphabet letters in preference to numbers to show points, maybe this is because the commentor has NO basic NUMERICAL skills, including basic arithmetic.

    This supposed £100 million will NOT factually pay off a SINGLE penny of national debt.

    Even now, present yearly national debt payments of £40 BILLION plus ALSO FACTUALLY DO NOT PAY OFF A SINGLE PENNY OF NATIONAL DEBT.

    Work it out for yourself.

    Present yearly borrowings Around £150 BILLION £80 billion cuts over 4 years = yearly MINUS £20 BILLION
    DEBT BORROWINGS MINUS CUTS = STILL YEARLY DEBT GROWTH £130 BILLION

    MINUS YEARLY DEBT REPAYMENT OF £40 BILLION
    DEBT GROWTH MINUS REPAYMENTS = STILL YEARLY DEBT GROWTH OF £90 BILLION

    Hence the FACT of the matter is, is that EVEN with ALL the CUTS, job losses and even AFTER debt repayment amount, our national debt is STILL GROWING at a RATE FAR HIGHER THAN REPAYMENTS, hence if it is CONTINUEING TO GROW then HOW can you be paying it off.

    FACT IS, debts will CONTINUE to grow UNTIL REPAYMENTS are GREATER than the amounts being BORROWED. Hence, even by 2015 at the end of this Condem policy cycle we will STILL FACTUALLY be BORROING MORE & MORE & yearly debt repayments are presently planned to be around £60 BILLION in 2015, hence FACTUALLY, to REPAY national debt we have GOT to borrow LESS than £60 BILLION a year of which even by 2015 presently there is a yearly £30+ BILLION BLACK HOLE. So with £20billion year cuts presently being implemented, if I was you, or anyone else, I would be preparing for yet another yearly £20 bn to £30 bn of CUTS, which is a GREATER FACTUAL REALITY, moreso, than NOT, especially with present economic statistics & REALITYS.


    The FACT is, is that UK national debt is NOT BEING PAID OFF and NOR WILL IT FOR MANY YEARS, NOT EVEN A SINGLE PENNY.

    The present situation is FACTUALLY that we will be borrowing SLIGHTLY LESS than we have done, or are now for quite some time and if the economy continues along its present path then even BEFORE 2015 there WILL BE ANOTHER ROUND OF CUTS, NO ESCAPE, YOU CANNOT BORROW WHAT YOUR INCOME CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY BACK. Especially as MOST job creation has been PART TIME jobs which in themselves in TOTALITY of numbers FACTUALLY ADD TO economic DAMAGE because MOST result in NEED for even MORE state subsidy such as TAX CREDITS & NUMEROUS other benefits, including even MORE school dinners & council tax discounts etc etc etc. Hence present job creation is ADDING to LONG TERM UNSUSTAINABILITY and NOT IMPROVING IT.

    Hence, to suggest that any £100 million attained from sell off of UK woodland is just purely factually BONKERS and 100% WRONG.


    ALSO, such a sell off will HAVE to be at LESS than current relative REAL value, otherwise WHY would ANYONE buy into this.

    People moaned about Gordon selling off gold cheaply, this is FACTUALLY NO DIFFERENT.

  • Comment number 83.

    A couple of thoughts:

    When asked what he was going to do with his money, Mark Twain replied "I'm putting it in land...I hear they're not making it any more".

    A line from "Big Yellow Taxi" - "They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot".

    Some parts of England are beautiful, and I think you should keep them that way. Once the land is sold, with its mature forests, there will be loopholes for the buyers to exploit, such as reforeting with pine and spruce, destroying nesting grounds and forest homes for much of our indigenous wildlife. Don't care? Well, neither did we care about the dodo and nor do we care about the Siberian tiger, and these have and will disappear and will never exist again, though our selfishness and greed. Other buyers won't even pretend to care for the forests. They'll push through land change and planning permission and build more housing for us and our children, nice people. Of course this is during a time when our natural defence against climate change - the carbon-dioxide-eating oxygen-producing vegetation - is being culled more and more quickly so that the global warming effect will soon be out of control completely. The perfect thing to do is to turn more greenery to concrete.

    If you worry about the money then explain why this government are scrapping £4Bn worth of aeroplanes at a cost of £2Bn, rather than selling them to recoup some money? Even if they sold them for £2Bn - half price - we'd be £2Bn in the red instead of £6Bn, saving £4Bn. Sorry, but I can't trust a government that fails to sell off what it should and tries to sell off what it shouldn't. Once sold these forests no longer belong to the population, and anybody who thinks there are still philanthropists in this country is sadly mistaken.

  • Comment number 84.

    Oh why not, we've sold everything of any value to the lowest foreign bidder already - the railways, gas, electric, grid, power stations, water, defence research......
    What we haven't sold we can't protect anyway - Nimrod was supposed to be the surveilance that our armed forces need but a guy that doesn't know the difference between a tornado and a torpedo decreed that we didn't need it, so upteen billions is now so much scrap metal... apparently that saves a couple of billion over the next decade or two - well until we need to hire an American plane to do the job instead.
    Now of course we could go further... The airforce could be totally grounded in 30 minutes because the lessons of WW2 and the Falklands have been learnt by other nations, they know that with runways destroyed a countries airforce is grounded - we know they learnt that because of what was done in the Gulf. Now are airforce has stupidly got rid of the only plane in the world that didn't need a runway (The Harrier) our airforce is open to crippling - and will be in any war. The Navy also has no aircover - it does have one remaining large flat topped target for the enemy, but it has no aircraft (thanks again to the scrapping of the Harrier). We know from WW2 (Prince of Wales) that a navy with no aircover is no use. So thats the airforce and navy rendered useless - lots of money can be saved by scrapping the remainder of both. That leaves the army, we also know from WW2 and even the Falklands that an army with no transportation, air cover, view over the horizon of the enemy is also useless so we can get rid of the remaining 2 soldiers we have left. With no armed forces at all the ministry of defence is a waste, so that can go. With no ministry of defence theres precious little point in having any of the 'secret services' because there is no point in knowing of an invasion if you have nothing to stop it. So there goes some more people. Then with nothing to protect it at all we have no need for a state, a government etc. So we can scrap all that rubbish and just become a proper vasal of either the EU or America as suits us best....

    Grief, what a lot of savings, add that to the sales of the woodland, scrap metal, spare guns etc etc and I reckon the countries debt will be gone!


    If the above seems too much you haven't thought the cuts through properly - just like our government failed to do.

  • Comment number 85.

    Provided they can guarantee that free access will be preserved & the forests won't be bulldozed & built on then I don't see a problem. However I really doubt if the government will be able to strike such a deal. Private investors will want profit & very few companies or individuals are going to buy a bit of forest that they have to look after but can't develop or charge for.
    Also, considering that Scotland, Wales & NI are exempt from the "selling off" scheme they should also be exempt from the cash raised, it's not really the "all in this together" message that the governments trying to put across is it?

  • Comment number 86.

    47. At 10:57am on 27 Jan 2011, Tony of Britain wrote:

    Well, someone is not going to buy land that they cannot do anything with. They will probably charge quite a lot for people to go on to it and no doubt will build on it as the laws of ownership will no doubt be changed.

    --------------------------------

    I would like to know though. They could put hotels near to it and make it easier to access as a holiday, therefore making profit could be done without damaging the forrests. Also the maintenance could improve in the hands of people with an interest in improving the land as an attraction.

    I want to know before I judge. There could be benefits but I do want to know if there is a downside.

  • Comment number 87.

    I honestly believe that the British Public are thick, blind, weak, fools. This is nothing more than a modern day Enclosure Act. Look around you! We are being disinherited just like our forefathers were back then. Our children are being educated to be ignorant, low paid, factory fodder. Our industries are being privatised. Our housing is now owned by private companies or at the whim of the Banks and those with mortgages risk losing their homes to these very same people with every interest rate rise and recession. Our democracy has been bought (privatised for want of a better phrase) and we are now ruled by the greedy ( lets not forget that these are the same people who robbed us with the expenses fraud) whose policies are now for the benefit of themselves. Our Armed Forces are corporate (privatised) from the food they eat to the wars they are ordered to fight and we have been forced into a debt to the tune of £64,000 each and rising. Effectively we are now owned by these Filthy, Greedy, Pigs from the moment we are born until the moment we die.

    Nationalisation of everything is the only way forward but you people are to ignorant and weak to do anything about it. So your children will be slaves in this country until their nationality is up for sale then they will be absolutely nothing!

    You will be known always as the ignorant generation!

  • Comment number 88.

    73. At 11:18am on 27 Jan 2011, Lynn from Sussex wrote:

    The privately owned forest near me is an absolute disgrace, a jumble of felled trees which have blocked previously open tracks and rides because the owner wants to stop acccess. The remaining tracks are either boggy or dangerously uneven due to huge 4x4s trmapling anything in their path. The ditches are clogged drunken lords and ladies who are allowed to flourish with their seeds travelling many mile to recolonise the local villages.

    Hunting is given free access often with packs of uncontrolled dogs whilst horse riders, tooting horns have to pay for access by bloodletting ceremonies and we runthe risk of encountering these irresponsible dog owners. There have been several rather nasty accidents where fox and other animals have died or been gassed

    This does not constitute good or responsible management.

    This particular forest is actually ancient woodland and would be far better offleft alone.

  • Comment number 89.

    Some consultation when this incompetent government (which replaced the previous incompetent government) has already made the decision

  • Comment number 90.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 91.

    " 8. At 10:16am on 27 Jan 2011, Nina wrote:
    Well I would have to look at the ins and outs of this more to know the answer to this, but I understand that the country only owns 20% of our forests and the ones that are privately owned are under strict regulations for preservation and public access. If these can be guaranteed any development is completely banned (and I do not mean that a hefty fined is levied to those that can afford it) then that is fine. The companies that buy these forests should only do so in a management capacity. It will raise money for the country and I do think that there should be a clause that states that the country can buy back any of this land in the future if they decide to do so. But any buildings have to be under strict guidelines and add to the experience of people (such as huts that are in keeping with the surroundings but only in certain parts of the woodlands). I do not see the problem if it is strictly in a management capacity but not if it gives them free reign to develop on the land and ban public access. I have read that these will all be safeguarded and nearly 70% of our woodland is already under private ownership. All wildlife has also got to be protected along with the trees and plant life."

    I think this is a very good comment, which I broadly agree with. However I don't believe it possible for there to be a cast iron guarantee that the government will be able to buy the land back in the future. I also think it likely that most landowners will do everything they can to either ignore, change or bend the rules and that certain politicians (more involved with big business than they should be) will assist them. While the forests will certainly remain, at least for now, I don't think they will be the same haven for wildlife that they have been nor will they offer the same free leisure opportunities.

  • Comment number 92.

    Why don’t we just sell the whole country and be done with it, although after decades of decay caused be incompetent governments of both colours I doubt if it’s worth much or there is much left to sell.

    Even the workers skills that were once the envy of the world have been replaced by decades of benefit culture.

    No private company will buy these woodland unless there is money to be made which ultimately means their destruction. I have seen housing estates build adjacent to woodland with the planning statements that they would suffer no adverse effect and yet years later and after the local children have trampled through them the bluebells and wood anemone are no more.

    We all like to bang on, our politicians included, at the destruction of the rain forests but they fail to see that the on a percentage basis the removal of one tree or native plant in this country is probably the same as destroying several acres of woodland in the rain forests.

    We need trees more and more to soak up our carbon footprint etc and for the benefits of our wild life which has already collapsed because of the destruction of their habitat and the use of pesticides.

    These woodland do not belong to the government they belong to the people and they are an essential future resources which we must protect for our grandchild so say NO NO NO to their sale.

  • Comment number 93.

    A thoroughly bad idea. Was it in their manifesto?

  • Comment number 94.

    67. At 11:12am on 27 Jan 2011, PFC_Kent wrote:
    JonDM wrote:
    21. At 10:32am on 27 Jan 2011, in_the_uk wrote:
    12. At 10:23am on 27 Jan 2011, JonDM wrote:

    Has not taken them long has it - once again, the CONservaTHEFT party is looking to steal what does not belong to it to sell. Just like the last time they had any sanction to do so.

    Again, we will have an ecomomy run on stolen money. Easy to make money when its stolen from the public. Anyone could do that, even Bamkers. Even Osbourne.

    And of their LIMPeral collaborators?.....

    Clegg, say something! Clegg, where are you?!

    -----------------------

    Stolen money? Is that not pensions? Gold? or just spending every penny we give them and more on stupid projects nobody wants?

    P.S. that was the last gov. This is the aftermath

    ===================================================

    Yes you are right - the pensions that the Bankers have plundered and ruined for thousands - ask the pension stakeholders of Northern Rock and the Equitable Life fiascos if you dont believe me.

    I think you will find your right wing off topic mantra is in the minority on this forum.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    As you know he means the private pensions industry. One of the best pensions industries in the world that was destroyed by the actions of the layabout party. All to pay the workshy to keep voting for them. It seems it worked. Oh, and whats a bamker? Is it someone with a clue about what caused the recession or is it you?

    =================================================

    Destroyed? Are you suggesting we all pull our money out of private pensions and bury it in the woods - OOPS sorry - the new owners will find it if we do!

    By your reckoning, about 40% plus of the UK is workshy because it voted labour. Your figure are about as good as Osbournes...

    Might I refer you to my earlier comment...

    "I think you will find your right wing off topic mantra is in the minority on this forum."

    Thats two of you out of nearly 100 posts - how cosy! Run along!


  • Comment number 95.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 96.

    72. At 11:15am on 27 Jan 2011, Rabbitkiller wrote:
    "...If there has to be a sale it should carry a permanent restrictive covenant..."
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Statute protecting woodland would be more effective.

    Restictive covenants are in general only enforceable by the original parties or successors-in-title, but only where the matters "touch and concern", (are of relevance to) the latter's adjacent retained land. If the government own no nearby land they would usually be unable to enforce, as would not the general public.

  • Comment number 97.

    "We are skint thanks to the last lot, we need money not trees."

    Yeah great idea, let's get rid of all the trees, that's what Haiti did in the past and never did them any harm ........ oh wait?

  • Comment number 98.

    I BELIEVE THAT PRIME MINISTER CAMERON IS GOING TO GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS MORE TROUBLE THAN MRS THATCHER.HE IS FOLLOWING THE WAYS OF THE DARK SIDE AND ANYBODY IN HIS WAY WHO OPPOSES WILL BE DESTROYED.EARTH LAND IS NOW ON HIS AGENDA AND HIS ARMY OF RICH BATTALIONS - BANKERS AND THOSE COLLABORATING LIBS WILL DRIVE MISERY INTO THE LIVES OF THE MANY.MAY THE FORCE OF THE BALLOT COME BACK TO SAVE THE EARTH BEFORE ALL IS LOST AND GONE FOREVER.

  • Comment number 99.

    I am not at all surprised at this motley crew selling of one of the few assets left. This is another repeat of ideological theft started by Thatcher. This government has sunk to new depths, what is left to sell?
    I suppose that they nwill dream up some cunning plan to sell us individual bits of the road outside our houses next. It really is getting to the bottom of the barrel a another dying gasp of a truly useless out of touch
    vandals.

  • Comment number 100.

    87. At 11:29am on 27 Jan 2011, Stewart wrote:
    I honestly believe that the British Public are thick, blind, weak, fools.
    Nationalisation of everything is the only way forward but you people are to ignorant and weak to do anything about it. So your children will be slaves in this country until their nationality is up for sale then they will be absolutely nothing!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now you have insulted the public and have informed us that the children in the future will be slaves - can we expect your impending emigration ?

 

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