Last week the Forestry Panel met for the first time under the chair of the Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool. The Panel intends to produce a first report in the autumn, with final recommendations on the future direction of forestry and woodland policy in England in spring 2012.
It was rather unfortunate that the Secretary of State’s comments last week on sales of woodlands was misinterpreted and reported in a way rather prejudicial to the Panel, before we had even met. However, we’re very pleased that Caroline Spelman, the Secretary of State for Environment, confirmed to us that no future sales will be made from the Public Forest Estate before the Panel makes its recommendations.
The Panel will be going out and about on visits, and listening to and taking evidence from community and special interest groups. Most importantly though I need your views - as professional foresters you are the best informed as to the state of our woodlands and how best to manage them. ICF has set up a LinkedIn group for members only and I encourage you to join in the debate either on this blog or on LinkedIn.