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The next FoTF Conservation Event is on Sunday 19th May.

The 2019 Rex Graham Reserve Open Day will be on Sunday 26th May 2019.

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Forest Campaigners meet Lord Taylor (Minister for Forestry), July 2012

Friends of Thetford Forest was one of a small number of 'campaigning organisations' invited to an hours meeting with Lord Taylor of Holbeach in London on Monday 2nd July - two days ahead of the publication of the Independent Panel's Final Report.

Those attending were each asked to describe our 'particular forest' and our aspirations for the report's findings. We were able to make our key campaign points:

  • that the Public Forest Estate must remain in public ownership
  • that the Forestry Commission be endorsed as steward of it, fully resourced to carry out sustainable and multi-purpose management for the nation's timber production, recreation and wildlife.
Forest Campaigners meet Lord Taylor

FoTF was also able to to emphasise the Forestry Commission's essential role in promoting good forestry and woodland management, climate mitigation and research into tree diseases. Lord Taylor could not, of course, pre-empt the report but he spoke very positively about the long term nature of growing trees and that he therefore considered forestry as 'long term' too and not as an industry that should be subject to short-term policy. He acknowledged the importance of both commercial and public forestry; the economic sustainability of forests and the community connection with the Public Forest Estate, giving FoTF an opportunity to say that it would like to see a voluntary group representative on F.C's regional and national committees/panels.

Also present was Ian Barratt, DEFRA advisor to Lord Taylor on forestry policy. Prior to the meeting with Lord Taylor, we had a short meeting with Baroness Royall who supports the retention of the Public Forest Estate. It was a privilege to meet Lord Taylor and have an open exchange of views. He ended by stating that he would like further meetings in the months between now and January and that he is keen to make visits to learn more about the forests.

Underlying the strength and unity of campaigns across the country the other groups represented at the meeting were:

  • Save Our Woods
  • Hands Off Our Forests
  • Keep Our Forests Public
  • Save Cannock Chase
  • Save Sandlings Forest