Haldon Forest Saved:
Our Days of Action:
Picture: Kat Fyfe.
22nd January 2011:
Over 1000 more signatures on the petition.
340 Letters to MPs written.
5th February 2011:
547 Letters to MPs written.
Thanks for everyone's help.
Complete all 7 Actions and become a champion of the forests ...
Sign the 38 Degrees Petition:
Over half a million signatures. Let's get it to a million as soon as we can.
Click here to sign the Petition
Join our Facebook group:
Write to your MP:
First find out who your MP is by going to the "Write to them" website. Then send your letter via the website or by post. ...
Email Caroline Spelman DEFRA Secretary:
and your email programme should open with the email filled in (you just need to add your name)
Email your MP:
In addition to writing to your MP, why not send him/her an email as well? ...
Please download our selection of leaflets, posters and typical letters, and set up your own "Day of Action" to protect the forests from the sell off. Or just put up posters in your area.
Respond to the Consultation:
The Government's Consultation was launched on the 27th January and lasts for 12 weeks. (i.e. until the 20th April). The Consultation is deliberately skewed towards methods for selling off the forests, there is no option to maintain the forests under Forestry Commission management. There is no option to keep the public forests OURS.
We recommend completing the consultation in ways that enable the government to correctly understand that the best option for our public forests is that they should be publicly owned and managed by a properly resourced Forestry Commission. 84% of us think this way.
We have provided guidance for completing the consultation here
Save Haldon Forest
- This is our Facebook page, with more information on future Events etc.
38 Degrees Petition
- Sign the National Petition against the Sale of our Forests.
Save England's Forests
- An excellent campaigning website for the National Campaign.
Save Our Forests - FCTU
- The Forestry Commission Trades Union campaign against the Forest Sell-Off.
Save Our Forests - PCS
- The Public and Commercial Services Union campaign against the Forest Sell-Off.
Save Britain's Forests
- This is the Facebook page for the national campaign.
Hands Off Our Forest
- The campaign to save the Forest of Dean.
Save Cannock Chase
- The campaign to save Cannock Chase
Save Sherwood Forest
- The campaign to save Sherwood Forest (Facebook)
Save Thetford Forest
- Friends of Thetford Forest Park
Save Lakeland Forests
- The campaign to save the Forests in Lakeland
More pictures of our Day of Action:
Pictures by Kat Fyfe
The Government cancels it's plans to sell off the public forests:
On the 17th February, the Government announced that it was dropping its plan to privatise the forests. In the House of Commons, Caroline Spelman Secretary of State for DEFRA said: "I'm sorry. We got this one wrong, but we have listened to people's concerns."
The Forestry Clauses in the Public Bodies Bill are to be withdrawn, and the flawed Consultation has been withdrawn.
Mrs Spelman also announced that an independent panel of experts will examine forestry policy in England and report back to her in the autumn. We have a concern that this committee might recommend the breakup of the Forestry Commission, so we are not out of the woods yet.
Welcome to our campaign:
The government is planning a massive sell off of ALL our national public forests, managed by the Forestry Commission. In December 2010 it became clear that the govenment wanted to sell "not some of them, not most of them, but the whole lot".
To give an idea of what this would mean for your local wood or forest, go to Rigg Wood in the Lake District which was sold off last year. It has been fenced off, the car park removed and picnic tables taken away. To enter the woods now you must climb over locked gates.
We can't let that happen. We must stop these plans.
Scotland and Wales have already rejected plans for selling off the forests.
In Devon, Haldon Forest is threatened. Haldon Forest Park is a haven for birds of prey, and home to over 30 species of butterfly. 30 miles of trails are available for you to explore on bike, by foot, or on horseback.
If Haldon Forest is sold, it could be lost forever.
Almost 500,000 people have signed the 38 Degrees petition. A recent YouGov poll showed that 84% of the public want our forests kept in public hands.
THE PUBLIC BODIES BILL:
This Bill is going through Parliament at the moment. Clauses 17, 18 and 19 refer to the Forestry Disposal. It is very draconian. ... Clause(17) Subsection(3) allows the Secretary of State to dispose of the forests "for any purpose or unconditionally".
HOW MUCH WILL THE GOVERNMENT SAVE?:
The net cost to the tax payer is about £15 million a year. That's only about 30p per taxpayer per year. It represents excellent value for money.
The forests belong to everyone and the government has no right to sell OUR forests. Once they are sold to the highest bidder, they will be exploited at will.
<<-- Please do as many of the 7 Actions on the left that you can.
The Governments consultation was launched on the 27th January. It lasts for 12 weeks. But the consultation assumes that the forests will be sold, and does not give the option to keep the forests in public ownership.
See Action 7 on the left, for advice on how to complete the consultation.
Valentines Cards for Mel Stride:
We sent 27 Valentines Cards to Conservative MP; Mel Stride, in whose constituency Haldon Forest exists.
We had a sneaky peek at what people wrote, and were so impressed with the heartfelt messages, that we thought we must share some of them.
"Love your Forest like you love your Tory party."
"My forest gives me life, and gives life to others. That is why I love her so.. Donít break my heart, save my forest."
"We need hugs and so do our trees. (For our sakes as well as the treesí). Go hug a tree and see how good it feels."
"Together we can save the forests for our love to grow."
"So many people love our forests (84% of the population). I hope that you will too."
"Haldon Forest should belong to everyone, every day. Where else can we have romantic valentines day walks? In all seriousness, once weíve lost the forest they are gone forever. Save Haldon Forest, and all the forests in the UK."
"Will the people you sell the forests to, love them as much as the generations that have enjoyed walking in them and having picnics? Money canít buy me love."
"This forest beongs to everyone and no-one. Every forest sold off restricts our access to something so beautiful."
"Keep the forests ours and protect our forests from privatisation. Haldon Forest is OURS."
"Donít sell the forests you fool. . .And Iíll be yours for ever."
"Ama il Verde, Perche mi Piace Respirare. ( Love your Environment, because I like to breathe)."
"Do you believe in forests for the few or the many? For public recreation or private profit. Do you believe in society (unlike some)? If so do you believe in social goods? Are not forests, such as Haldon Forest, a social good to be made available to all equally? How do you then defend the sell-off? Happy Valentines Day."
"I love our forests, Haldon Forest in particular. Please help safeguard our environmental heritage, reverse Government policy, and love and protect our Forests. Happy Valentines Day."
"Please love your forest, Mel. Itís beautiful, just like you. Your secret admirer."
"Please save our forests. Donít sell them off. Once they are gone, they are lost forever. Roses are red, violets our blue, save our forests, and I might love you."
"Please love our forests, because we all do."
"Forests are for everyone, not for profit. From your secret advisor."
"I hope youíll find that the forest is a holder of love for so many animals and people. Donít have a heart of wood. Have a heart for the wood and save the forest. Hoping you find the love."
"Love me to love your forest, and you can be mine. Love your valentine."
"Haldon Forest is a beautiful place and it is open to all to access. Please make sure that we keep our National Asset safe for future generations."
"I love the forests. They are perfect and beautiful, wonderful to spend time in. I will love you too if you take care of the forests. Please do so."
"It is high time you faced up to your responsibilities and loved your forest. Treat it with the respect it deserves. Happy Valentines Day."
"Your forest is to be loved."
Haldon Forest in Autumn:
Picture by Chris Parker
Where is Haldon Forest?
Haldon Forest Park:
Haldon Forest Park is 3,500 acres of woodland, owned by the Forestry Commission, just fifteen minutes from Exeter.
It is open every day and there are a range of walks and all ability trails, cycling trails as well as a wide range of events.
Rangers are on hand daily to give advice and ensure people get the most out of their visit.
Haldon Forest Park also hosts Go Ape, an award-winning high wire forest adventure course of rope bridges, tarzan swings and zip slides in the tree tops.
The site is also home to the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World, an innovative organisation, which uses the arts to explore new understandings of our place within nature.
Go to our Facebook page >>>
The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment.
Further information can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/haldonforestpark