Welcome to Save Our Forests

Image copyright Mountain Wanderer

Our forests and woodlands are our nations most important national treasure!

This site was born out of opposition to government proposals put forward through the Public Bodies Bill which would have enabled a 100% disposal of the public forest estate.

Following a large swathe of opposition from a number of local and national groups, the proposals were withdrawn.

However, threats to our publicly owned and managed woods and forests remain:

  • The government still intends to sell 15% of the public forest estate over the next 4 years.
  • Planned cuts of 25% to the Forestry Commission’s budget and a quarter staff reduction will starve the public forests of the resources they need to continue providing or increasing public benefits.
  • An independent panel of experts[1] will recommend to DEFRA on the future direction of the public forest estate, and we have concerns over it’s transparency and how the public can feed into their deliberations.
  • The terms of reference for this panel include opening up again the debate about whether or not the forests are publicly owned and managed, an issue on which the vast majority of this country has made their views very clear
  • The government have set up a task force to look at relaxing the regulatory burden on private forests, 60% of which are already un/under-managed.

Image copyright Chris5aw

We need to continue to deliver a properly resourced public forest estate in the way that the public has shown, time and again, that it wants.

See our vision for the public forest estate, read the latest news and find out how you can get involved.

[1] Although government had committed that the panel would comprise independent experts, and not representatives of particular  bodies, the final list does now include a majority of body representatives. Many of these bodies could directly or indirectly benefit through the disposal of any public forests.