Wednesday 6th Februaryy 2013
Seeing The Woods For The Trees
An opinion piece by
Writing about how the Government was forced into its historic U turn, Robin Maynard says:
"It was 'Big Society' ...those half a million people who signed 38 Degrees ‘Save Our Forests’ on-line petition; the dog-walkers, horse-riders, mountain-bikers, fresh-air seeking families; the former mining communities fighting for reforested spoil-heaps, local saw mills dependent on the timber from well-managed FC woods - and especially, the communities living within and working amidst them , the various ‘friends of forests’ groups, amplified by the efforts of Save Our Wood , HOOF and Our Forests."
Tuesday 15th January 2013
Politics and the Panel
An opinion piece by
As the Government’s response to the Independent Panel approaches it’s clear there is only one way out of the political mess the Conservatives landed themselves in. That is to understand, accept and take action to turn the panel’s views into policy ...
Friday 11th January 2013
A drop in the ocean - but a green world of difference
£22 million per year. That's what it costs to keep the Forestry Commission and all the English public forests going. It sounds a lot to you and me, but in the rarified world of government finance it is nothing. It works out at just 30p per year per taxpayer! This is stunning value for money when compared to other important and life-enhancing facilities such as opera, the arts, sport, etc, all of which cost far more.
It is a win win situation for the government and for all of us. For a mere 30p a year, which the public has demonstrated they are more than happy to pay, we get free access to our glorious forests, the lungs of the world, the emerald spaces that calm and revive. Compare that to what you spend a year on, say, TV, cinema, books, or beer and it looks like a no-brainer.
In fact, there is evidence that people would pay more if it meant having an effective and properly funded Forestry Commission who could conduct research into, and prevent, some of the tree diseases that have caused so much devastation recently.
If, as has been rumoured, the government is thinking of running down the Forestry Commission even further and cutting the public funding to our forests by passing on the costs to charities or private concerns - an unacceptable strategy that will seriously jeopardising the future of our forests - it will be guilty of letting down the English people for countless generations to come.
And if, as is also rumoured, the Government makes no provision to recognise the special and unique situation of the Forest of Dean and protect its status by legislation, they will find they have misjudged the mood of the people once again.
Saturday 28th August 2012
Foresters celebrate their victory
- but speakers sound warning note
"This Government cannot be trusted one inch", said keynote speaker Jonathon Porritt
On Saturday 28th July Foresters from all walks of life celebrated the independent panel's report at Speech House with local musicians, invited speakers and a hog roast and bar.
Forester editor Viv Hargreaves introduced the speakers, HOOF chairman Rich Daniels, Baroness Jan Royall, campaigner Jonathon Porritt and Sir Harry Studholme, one of the members of the independent panel who's report backed HOOF's stance to keep the English Forests out of private hands.
Rich Daniels Jonathon Porritt
Jan Royall Sir Harry Studholme
Local musicians Bob Smith, Forest of Dean Brass, Asha Faria-Vare, Max, Gorg n Zola, Muddy Summers, Mike Edwards, and Folklaw performed, and Keith Morgan entertained us with his stories.
Asha Faria-Fare Max
Wednesday 27th June 2012
ENGLAND'S FOREST COMMUNITIES WARN GOVERNMENT
In a strongly worded statement, a consortium of Our Forests, HOOF and many other forest community groups has warned the Government to expect "...a conflagration in constituencies across England." if they do not listen to the public, and press ahead with their original plans to take our woodlands out of public ownership.
For further details see our lead article, centre column, this page
Wednesday 27th June 2012
38 DEGREES LAUNCHES EMERGENCY PETITION
38 Degrees, whose online petition raised many thousands of signatures in support of keeping our woodland in public ownership, have just launched a new emergency petition on the eve of the Independent Panels report, due out on the 4th July.
You can add your name to the new petition here:
Tuesday 22nd May 2012
WOODLANDS CAN BE SOLD OFF FROM 4th JULY SAYS GOVERNMENT
On July 4, when the Government-appointed panel is due to publish its final report, the suspension of woodland sales is also due to be lifted. Outlying woods in the Forest of Dean could be among those of the 40,000ha, or 15 per cent, of woodland the Government has said it intends to sell.
Monday 21st May 2012
FORESTRY PANEL FINAL REPORT DUE OUT
The proposed date for the final report is 4th July
Whatever the panel's conclusions, we must be vigilant. Even if they give us everything we hope for, there is no obligation on Government to accept its findings, so we must be prepared to continue the battle to save our forests for future generations.
The latest Forestry Panel newsletter can be downloaded in PDF format here.
11th August 2011
Excellent response to HOOF's request for your views to the Independent Panel
The Independent Forestry Panel (see main article lower down on right) made it clear they wanted YOUR views and WILL take them into account.
The deadline for submissions ended on the 31st July and indications are that many hundreds of Foresters have written to the panel, many using the HOOF website's form.
It would also appear that the vast majority of people writing to the panel from the Forest of Dean expressed their confidence in the Forestry Commission and actually wanted the amount of forest land owned by the public and managed by the FC to increase.
A huge thank you to everyone who wrote in. The Panel were very impressed with the depth of feeling here in the Forest when they visited in June and will be even more impressed with the submissions.
For all this and more go to our News section
And now you can visit our Archives page for all those stories you may have missed.
HOOF CD NOW AVAILABLE!
BUY ONE NOW AS A MUST-HAVE MEMENTO OF OUR STRUGGLE
But be quick - they will soon be a collectors item!
click image to BUY NOW
HANDS OFF features songs by:
Billy Bragg & Heathens All;
Forest Brass; Dick Bryce;
Mike Edwards; Bob Smith; Max;
Asha Faria-Vare; Ghost of a Dog and Roger Drury & Friends
This CD specially made for HOOF can be bought, priced £5, from the Forest Bookshop in Coleford, Forester office in Cinderford, Forest Review office in Lydney, Brierley Service Station, the Miners' Arms in Whitecroft and at various events.
It can also be ordered online, priced £6 including post and packaging, from the Poet Pilot web site here
The site also includes detailed information about the CD
£4 from each CD will go to the HOOF fighting fund
Many thanks to Mike Edwards who produced the CD, all the Forest artists who play on it and Billy Bragg, who kindly allowed us to use the song This Land from his latest album.
HOOF Rally 3rd Jan
Images, text and links to other reports about the rally have now moved to the Archives page