Kielder Forest a key area in review of UK woodland

A NORTH East beauty spot has been chosen as one of three “key areas” to be examined in a review of the future of UK woodland.

Harvester in action during the working forest tour in Kielder Water & Forest Park.

A NORTH East beauty spot has been chosen as one of three “key areas” to be examined in a review of the future of UK woodland.

The Government’s independent panel on the future of the country’s public forests yesterday launched its review over the nation’s woods.

As part of its investigation into the workings and benefits of the UK’s forests, the panel on Forestry members will visit three key areas as examples of different woodland.

Northumberland’s Kielder Forest has been singled out for a visit on July 26, as part of information gathering for the panel’s findings.

Kielder has been chosen to provide an example both of upland forest and the importance of timber production.

Several forests in the county will be included and although the details of the visit are yet to be decided, panel members are expected to tour Kielder.

There is also the possibly a public meeting will be held.

Meanwhile the panel have made an appeal for anyone with interests in woodland to make their views known.

The panel has been designed to advise the Government “on the future direction of forestry and woodland policy in England” by April 2012.

This includes looking at the work of the Forestry Commission, forests and woods in public, private and charitable ownership, the economics of forestry, public benefits such as wellbeing, leisure access and the role of forests in the wider natural environment.

The panel was set up in the wake of the Government’s U-turn over the sell-off of the nation’s forests in the face of a massive public outcry. Demonstrations across the North, including at Chopwell Woods, Grizedale Forest in the Lake District, Whinlatter Forest, near Keswick, and one scheduled at Hamsterley Forest, in County Durham, before the Government gave in. An online petition also showed the strength of public feeling over issues such as public access to woodland.

The public consultation aims to research what woods do for people and communities, why people value woodland, and to find examples of good practice in the management of woodland. To submit views go to www.defra.gov.uk/rural/forestry/panel to give your views.

 
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