England Decides Not to Sell Off Public Forests

Written by Michael Graham Richard

The government of England has backtracked and decided that it won’t sell a significant portion (about 15%) of the public forests it holds, but will instead create a trust to hold them for future generations.

“The new body will have greater independence from Government and greater freedom to manage its resources and maximise its income but with the right safeguards in place to operate for the long-term benefit of people, nature and the economy,” said UK Environment Secretary Owen Paterson.

Kudos to Save Our Woods (SoW) for fighting the good fight and raising awareness about public forests in England. The half a million names that they collected in a petition against the proposed disposal of public forested land certainly helped. SoW describes their mission thus on their about page:

We formed Save Our Woods, a grass-roots organisation, to get to the facts behind the 2010 proposed sell off of our Public Forest Estate (PFE), which led us to campaign for the removal of the forestry clauses from the Public Bodies Bill and to ensure that our publicly owned forests remained in public ownership, in perpetuity.

We encourage you to check them out and support them!

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


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Photo: European Environment Agency/flickr

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Carrie Anne Brown

great news, thanks for sharing :)

Sonia Minwer-Barakat Requ

Thanks to Save Our Woods.Thanks for sharing a great new

Lynn D.
Lynn D.2 years ago

Great, thanks for sharing with us!

Ken W.
Ken W.2 years ago

This is good news !

Beth M.
Beth M.2 years ago

Don't sell ANY portion of the public forests! Do you realiize what "public" means?

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla2 years ago

Thanks, we need more victories for the planet!!

Jodi Ashley
Jodi Ashley2 years ago


Brian Steele
Brian Steele2 years ago

As a point of information, the trust may be new, but the decision not to sell off the forests was taken almost 2 years ago in March 2011. It was an idea the government had at the height of fiscal problems, which was raised in Parliament but failed to get support, so it was a non-starter from the point at which they actually started thinking about it properly.

B. M.
Bette M.2 years ago

The only way me & you can possibly save trees is to reduce drastically the human population & steer people towards planting trees even if it takes a law to do it. Also get people to realize consumer materialism feeds into the direct distruction of forests.

We, man must quadruple the planting of trees as we devour the forests in a frenzy of self satisfaction & greed And far to many animals depend on forests for their survival. We can not risk the loss of any more species than we've already killed off due to our greed, selfish thoughtlessness.

Is it too late to take these simple steps to plant & replant the forests? With a world population nearing eight billion it sure seems like it.

Lord have mercy on his & our forests.

Wherever you go there once was a forest.
Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are truly the lungs of the earth.

Charlotte A.
Charlotte A.2 years ago

Saving forests is good, no matter where they are. Thank-you.