Have your say on future of forests

A WILDLIFE charity boss is urging the public to have their say in a public debate about the future of the nation’s forests.

Mike Pratt, chief executive of Northumberland Wildlife Trust, wants to make sure that the people of Northumberland have their say after the Independent Panel on Forestry announced last week that everyone interested in forests and woods should join in a public conversation.

In order to advise the Government on the future of forests and woods in England, the panel wants to understand the widest range of views, interests and expertise.

The panel was set up in the wake of the Government’s U-turn over the sell-off of the nation’s forests, which included Kielder, in the face of a massive public outcry.

But Mr Pratt said: “The whole argument about breaking up the forests, and specifically Kielder, has not gone away. The review and panel are still considering the options.

“What people don’t seem to appreciate is that they are still looking at these things as commercial forests. But it is not about being commercial.

“The whole of the Kielder landscape is a fantastic attribute to the area for wildlife as well as being a commercial forest.

“We want to make sure the wildlife and management of the forest continues in the future.”

For details on how to give your views, visit www.defra.gov.uk/rural/forestry/panel