When ever I read something in a newspaper which I really know about the truly frightening thing is that the article is littered with inaccuracies and the conclusions, when drawn, are normally grossly unfair. The row over the govt. 'consultation' on the 800,000 odd acres of land managed by the Forestry Commission (FC) in England is a case in point. The 'luvvies' and second rate 'celebs' have rushed to sign up for something called 'Save our Forests' when there is actually - in the government's proposal nothing to save them from. Public access to forests will continue ,even if they are sold, as it is enshrined in law, the FC has not, strangely, either been the superb woodland manager of legend and so, if these woods are sold they may well end up better managed than before and, consider, over the last thirty odd years many industries have been privatised and all now give a better service to their customers and provide a better return to their owners than when they were in public hands -so why should the sale of public forestry estate have a different outcome?
No if the 'luvvies' and 'celelbs', plus -oddly- the Archbishop of Canterbury, really want to Save our Forests then they should be campaigning for the total ban on importation of plant material into this country. Such plants -imported by so called 'nurseries' in the UK too idle to grow their own -are a enormous threat to the health of the UK's woodlands. Already tens of thousand of acres of larch trees are being felled throughout Wales and SW England because of a disease called Phytophra Ramorum brought into this country via Camellia plants imported from China via nurseries in Holland while a ill thought out reader offer by the Daily Telegraph of Acers imported from China resulted in several of the plants being found to be carrying the deadly Asian Long Horned Beetle which, if it became established, would devastate the UK's hardwoods. So come on the 'luvvies' and the 'celebs', plus all those MP's who have suddenly decided to become experts in trees, do something which will really help to Save our Forests - campaign for a ban on the importation of all plant material.