Following the Government’s aborted plans to sell parts of the Public Forest Estate in 2010, it signalled its intention to establish, via primary legislation, a new public body to manage the forestry estate, according to Second Reading, the House of Commons Library blog.
No legislation has yet been forthcoming and environmental groups are concerned that this has left the nation’s forests unprotected.
The introduction of the Infrastructure Bill in the 2014 Queen’s Speech compounded these fears as concerns were raised that specific provisions could be used to sell off the public forest estate.
Despite repeated government assurances that the Bill would have no impact on public forests, campaign groups have continued to lobby the government to explicitly protect the public forest estate from sale. The Government has now added an amendment to the Bill which protects the public forest estate from being sold.
More information on the current situation is available on Second Reading.
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