'Keep our forests public'

January 27, 2011, 9:22 PM GMT+0

The vast majority of the British public has denounced Government plans to sell off publicly owned forests in England and thinks that forest ownership should remain as it is for the sake of future generations.

  • 84% of Brits think that England’s forests should stay in public ownership for the benefit of future generations, and 58% are in strong agreement

  • Just 2% disagree with keeping the forests publicly owned
  • A substantial 75% actively oppose the Government’s measures to sell off some, or all, of England’s forests and woodlands
  • Only 6% were in favour of the plans to sell

Wildlife at risk?

The Government has invited widespread criticism with a pledge to sell 15 per cent of the public forest estate by 2015. The land is currently managed by the Forestry Commission but would be sold to private companies or charities, which, the Government claims, will improve the way that the forests are run.

However, critics have objected to the sale on the grounds that it might make it more difficult for the general public to access woodlands, claiming that wildlife and even the forests themselves may come under threat from timber companies and developers if they are not publicly managed.

See the survey details and full results here