Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Friday, 25 September 2009

Help Decide Our Forests' Future & Win a Prize!


Another key message from yesterday's seminar was how community involvement in decision making is crucial in the delivery of good quality public planting, so it was especially good timing to find an e-mail from The Woodland Trust this morning about England's public forests. This must be the ultimate 'public' planting - the forests managed by the Forestry Commission on our behalf, including the wonderful Westonbirt, the national arboretum not far from here. If you've ever been for a walk, a mountain bike ride, attended a open-air concert or other event in one of our public forests in England - like the pictured scene from last year's Festival of the Tree, then you also have an interest in the following:

The Forestry Commission in England wants your view on the long-term role of the forests and woods it owns.

If you believe as we do that forests and woods in public ownership are an important national asset then now is the time to have your say in their future.

Please add your voice to this very important consultation, and give your backing to the Trust's contribution.

We believe that the public forests are crucial to the protection, restoration and expansion of native woods in the future. They play a vital part in helping us meet the challenges faced by our changing climate and providing habitats for numerous animal and plant species; not to mention the recreational, health and educational benefits they bring to everyone. I am sure you will agree that we can't lose them!

The deadline for your response is Monday 28th September.
[Hence my telling you about it today, in view of the short notice - you have until 5pm - VP]

This public consultation will be a major piece of evidence in the overall study of the future of the Forestry Commission's estate. Please spare a few minutes to contribute. You can write a letter, take the online survey or print out the full document and return it. Whichever method you choose, everything you need is here.

Thank you.

Hilary Allison
Policy Director, The Woodland Trust

The Trust's website gives a good overview of the consultation. There's actually 2 online surveys, a full one which asks lots of policy related questions which most people like me would struggle to answer. However, there's a very quick version - just the first question of the full survey - which simply asks you to select the 5 aspects of public forests most important to you.

You can also possibly win a prize by completing the shorter survey :) You can choose from either tickets to a 2010 concert, or a 12-month season ticket to the public forest of your choice. As half of England lives within 6 miles of one of these, I think the latter prize is particularly good, though I did also thoroughly enjoy seeing Jools Holland at Westonbirt a few years ago.

NB if you're using an internet email service - as I suspect most of us are - you'll need to save the survey to your computer, then email it. You're given more information on this plus the email address at the end of the survey, but I found I couldn't cut and paste it into my email software. So here it is, just in case it's the same for you:

6 comments:

  1. Interesting. I have recently discovered that there is a move in Malvern for a Community Forest. They want to raise money to buy up land which used to be forest between Malvern and Worcester. Laudable but I cant see that they will get far

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  2. Well, that's pretty cool. Forests sort of scare me (all those trees!), having grown up without them, but I can appreciate them in the abstract. I hope the voting turns out to give the powers that be some good and useful info. Regardless of the landscape, it is nice when the community is consulted before changes are made. Sometimes a little communication can go a long way...

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  3. Thanks for this - I love forests, so will try and do the survey, probably at about 3am workload permitting!

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  4. PG - sounds like a good idea though. I used to arrange tree planting weekends when I was at Earthwatch and there used to be quite a few grants available for that kind of thing.

    Susan - funny how our 'roots' really shape the way we are isn't it? I find landscapes without trees pretty scary because of that! Unless mountains are involved...

    Phoenic C - hope you manage to fit it into your busy schedule :)

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  5. arewenearlythereyet29 September 2009 13:55

    Sounds absolutely fantastic idea! There is also currently a competition on http://www.adventureboxbooks.com/september this month's AdventureBox page - where you can win membership to the Nature Detectives, in association with the Woodland Trust. A fantastic way to introduce kids to nature

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  6. Arewenearlythereyet - welcome and thanks for pointing out that competition. It's another good 'un :)

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