Below are the campign updates issued by the Friends of Thetford Forest (FoTF) Save Our Forests Campaign during 2013. Click on a heading to expand the section and reveal the update. You can view the latest update here
We approach the end of a year that began with the Government's response in January (Government Forestry and Woodlands Policy Statement) to the Independent Panel on Forestry's (IPF) Final Report, saw the momentum continue with the publication of DEFRAs Policy Implementation Plan in July but then seemingly grind to a halt with the Ministerial changes in Autumn.
DEFRA no longer has a Minister of State. Friends of Thetford Forest regard this as a retrograde step, downgrading the importance of forestry matters within the Secretary of State for the Environment's portfolio. Forestry is now the concern of a Parliamentary Under Secretary - Mr. Dan Rogerson MP - who has remained very quiet on the matter.
Up until now, the Governments response to the IPF's report was positively received and dialogue with stakeholders such as FoTF constructive. However, the silence since the Cabinet reshuffle has given us cause for concern.
So, FoTF would like to remind the Government of the promises it made in January in the Policy Statement and ask whether it plans to renege on these promises.
FoTF will continue to meet with DEFRA and argue the case for a properly funded and publicly owned Public Forest Estate with strong community representation.
Our next opportunity will be in December - watch this space!
On page (p.27) the statement says on community engagement that FC does a good job but could do more and that "We will expect the new body (FE's successor) to develop clear arrangements for working with businesses, charities and communities at the local level, building on the best current practice, for example at Thetford".
It is good to know that we are part of what is considered best practice but it is also a responsibility that could have long term implications for us.
The Friends of Thetford Forest have issued a short response to the Government's official response to the Independent Panel on Forestry's (IPF) Final Report on the future of England's Woods and Forests. You can view the FoTF response by clicking here
Friends of Thetford Forest has written a letter to David Heath MP, the minister responsible for forestry, urging him to follow the IPF's recommendations and ensure a properly funded and stable future for the Public Forest Estate.
Please do the same using the emails below!