Letter: Last chance to save our woods

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Not content with privatising our rain water and half a million acres of associated land, the Government has sold over 425,000 acres of our Forestry Commission woodlands since 1981. This is privatisation by stealth without reference to our elected representatives in the Commons.

Baroness Nicol said in the House of Lords on 14 April '. . . my understanding, however, is that the Secretary of State now has the power to sell all 2 million acres of forest, if he so wishes, without coming back to Parliament for legislation'. The government minister responding did not correct her on this crucial point.

So this haemorrhage continues. Permission to roam is lost when this land is privatised and access agreements have only been made on one in 14 of the woodlands so far sold.

If the Citizen's Charter is to mean anything then surely we have the right to keep our public woodlands, which we have paid for since 1919? They are the greatest asset to our environment and an insurance that this country's low percentage tree cover is not further reduced.

Philip Grieg

Hannington Wick, Wilts