Below are the campign updates issued by the Friends of Thetford Forest (FoTF) Save Our Forests Campaign during 2012. Click on a heading to expand the section and reveal the update. You can view the latest update here
The report calls for England's woods and forests to be re-valued for all the benefits they provide. These include areas for recreation, clean air, clean water, and habitats for wildlife. The report also makes clear that the Panel believes the public forest estate is a national asset, which should remain in public ownership
Following the publication of the report the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said that ministers had scrapped plans to sell off the forests
Click here for more details
On the 14th Jun the Friends of Thetford Forest issued a press release regarding the imminent release of the Independent Panel on Forestry Final Report which is to be published on 4th July. Set up in 2011 to advise the government, the Panel has spent a year visiting forests all over the country. Throughout this time, FoTF has campaigned for the Public Forest Estate to be held in perpetuity for the benefit of the nation under the stewardship of the Forestry Commission.
Click here to view the full press release.
On the 27th June 2012 the Forestry Commission issued a press release confirming the latest figures published by Forestry Commission England show FC woodlands are incredibly well protected and sustainable forestry remains strong.
According to records, just 0.4 per cent of trees felled in England were done illegally without a felling licence. Conservation habitats, such as heathland, have been restored from commercial plantations whilst keeping a slowly expanding wooded area overall. A thriving timber industry has increased domestic supply as imports have fallen.
Commenting on the report Simon Hodgson, Forestry Commission England Chief Executive said:
For the first time we have been able to publish a suite of new statistics to show what is happening to woods and forests in England and how Forestry Commission England is performing.
We are already working with the sector to implement recommendations from the Forestry Regulation Task Force and look forward to receiving the Independent Forestry Panel's final report to Government.
Click here to view the full FC press release.
The view of Friends of Thetford Forest on the report is one of cautious optimism.
We are encouraged that the Panel:
However, we do have some concerns:
The Panel's full interim report can be found at http://www.defra.gov.uk/forestrypanel/reports/progress-report-december-2011
A huge THANK YOU to you all! The Panel's own report shows that replies from East Anglia were among the highest in number from any region, despite being an area of relatively low population density. This proves your voice is being heard and can make a difference so let's keep doing so!
Members of the Independent Panel on Forestry visited East Anglia on 28th March and FoTF were invited to make a presentation to them.
This gave us a face-to-face opportunity to express our concerns and put forward our hopes and aspirations for a fully-resourced public forest estate under the stewardship of the Forestry Commission.
The Panel's report will be published later this summer so now is the time for all of us to remind the Panel - and the Government - how much we value Thetford Forest and al the other woods and forests of the Public Forest estate and want them to remain under the expert management of the Forestry Commission.
Please support us by emailing the Panel at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or in writing:
Secretariat to the Independent Panel on Forestry
17 Smith Square
You can also write to your MP asking them to add their voice many forest users who have already contacted the panel. MPs e-mail addresses can be found via:
or alternatively in writing:
House of Commons
Please ensure that the woods and forests of the Public Forest Estate are protected and enhanced now and for future generations. Please confirm the Forestry Commission as the manager of our Public Forest Estate and fully finance it to continue and expand its work across the country, for the benefit of the nation's timber resource, for wildlife, archaeology, climate change mitigation, recreation, health and well-being and as our largest open access areas.
Please help FoTF make sure that our forests always belong to us all.