What do we make about this Government’s decision to sell off the forests of England?
Never quite seen why the Government has to be in the pit-prop business, particularly since we don’t use them any more.
The Forestry Commission was set up after the First World War to provide a strategic reserve of timber, largely to provide pit-props to the coal industry. We now have no need of such a reserve.
In discharging its responsibility, the Commission planted some of the nicest landscapes in Britain with conifers and nothing but conifers. Only in recent years has it moved to anything like a balanced planting strategy which gives wildlife any sort of a chance. It has also opened its estate up to mountain bikers and the like.
Clearly, the Quangocrats at the Commission are trying to save their jobs by muddying the question of what’s commercial forestry – at which the Commission isn’t very good – and what’s amenity woodland, which it opposed for decades and which would be better managed by organisations which have amenity as their prime object. The Commission isn’t actually all that good at management, as anyone who knows anything about forestry (Imake no such claim myself) will tell you.
FASCINATING. Seriously. I had no idea.
Here’s what the Forestry Commission actually does:
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