Forestry Commission Reductions In Expenditure
That this House is alarmed at the 25 per cent. cut to the Forestry Commission announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review; opposes plans to sell off parts of the Public Forest Estate in England which could result in 30 million trees being cut down and job losses in England and Scotland; notes that the Forestry Commission in England manages 258,000 hectares of public forest, employing 856 people; further notes that the Commission manages the highest number of sites of special scientific interest, with 99 per cent. of these in favourable or recovering condition; regards forests as a priceless carbon storage resource and essential to the Government's efforts to achieve climate change mitigation targets; is concerned that education courses and public health programmes would be inhibited by the sale of public forests; acknowledges that public rights of way are lost under private ownership of former Forestry Commission land; furthernotes that at 9 per cent. the level of forestation in England is one of the lowest in Europe and that 69 per cent. of forest is already privately-owned; further notes that hits on the Forestry Commission Trades Union's website increased by 560 per cent. to 80,000 per month after this cut was announced; and calls on the Government to bring forward proposals to amend the Public Bodies Bill (Lords) to remove this threat to forests.
This motion has been signed by a total of 54 MPs, 1 of these signatures have been withdrawn.
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