Posts Tagged ‘forest sell off’

The government’s forests panel have asked 38 Degrees members for a meeting this Friday to find out our priorities for protecting Britain’s forests in the future.

Because we can’t fit all 500,000+ people who’ve campaigned to save our forests around the table, 38 Degrees members have spent the last few weeks attending get-togethers and sharing our ideas for the future of our forests. [1]

Using the same technology that helps analyse regular member surveys, we’ve worked out our three top demands from 38 Degrees members to the forests panel:

Keeping our forests in public ownership
Protecting the incredible variety of animals and plants that live in our forests
Making sure as many people as possible are able to enjoy our forests, including those who don’t have access to a car, or use a wheelchair, as well as those who want to ride horses or bikes
If you’re on board with these priorities, click to show your support by signing our new petition now – and we’ll present it to the panel on Friday:

This panel could come under pressure from government. They could end up recommending wise ways of protecting forests for the future, or they could end up legitimising another stab at a sell-off in a few years’ time.

Because 38 Degrees members worked together in record numbers to stop the sell-off of England’s forests in the first place, we already have their attention – and so far engagement has been constructive. When the panel put out the call for submissions from the public, nearly 35,000 of us responded. [2]

Our submissions made such an impact that they rang the 38 Degrees office to arrange a meeting to discuss our views in more depth. The question now is, will this panel ultimately give the government a back door for privatisation? Or will they hold firm to the bedrock principles we should never abandon at any price?

Help tip the balance in favour of honest, sensible recommendations for the future of our forests: add your name to the petition now:

Just a few months ago, politicians were shocked to discover that protecting forests wasn’t just the hobby of a few people, but something lots of us cared passionately about, and were prepared to fight for in large numbers. [3] We proved that when 537,490 of us signed the Save Our Forests petition. [4]

Now we’re going to meet the forests panel in Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest in Kent this Friday to hand over all our suggestions – and to ensure our top priorities can’t be missed.

Public ownership. Protecting wildlife and plant diversity. Accessibility for all. Add your name to back these priorities now and let’s deliver a united message piled high with signatures – that we expect them to stand tall with the people, and insist we protect England’s woodlands for future generations:

Thanks for being involved,

Hannah, Cian, David, Johnny, Marie, Becky and the 38 Degrees team

PS Last week, we made sure that every MP knew that we didn’t want the government’s controversial NHS reforms to go ahead. [5] Now the bill has gone to the House of Lords and we need to decide what we do next:



Two weeks ago, more than 30,000 of us responded to the government’s forests panel. [1] Lots of us shared the same views: we don’t want our forests sold off, and we want them to be properly looked after for future generations.

Now, because so many of us got involved, the forest panel has said they’ll meet with us in the next few weeks. That means we’ve got another big chance to make sure they back the best plans for the future of our forests.

We won’t have long to share our ideas with the panel at the meeting. But we can tell them our priorities. That’s why we need to get together quickly and share ideas about what we want for our forests. We’ll collect the ideas, photographs, drawings and stories about how we want our forests protected for the future using the 38 Degrees website. Then we’ll gather them all together and take them to the meeting.

Can you organise a get-together in your local woods, forest or park with other 38 Degrees members? It doesn’t take long to set one up, and there’s lots of help available on the 38 Degrees website. Click here to find out more about organising one:

We don’t have long until we take our messages to the panel. It was a huge people-powered campaign that stopped the forests from being sold off. [2] Now, we need to deliver a people-powered message to the panel to make sure our woods are protected in the future.

When we sit down with the panel, we’ll only have a few minutes to tell them how tens of thousands of us want them to look after our forests. But imagine the reaction in the room when we show them photos, stories, drawings and videos from our get-togethers in England’s forests. They’ll understand why hundreds of thousands of us got together to stop the sell-off. We can make our message the most powerful they receive.

We’ll use the panel’s own questions about forests to start us off. But instead of just writing answers down, we’ll bringing our ideas to life with photos, videos and stories about our own experiences of England’s woodlands.

Learn more about organising an event about the future of our forests here:

38 Degrees members have a great track record when it comes to getting together to stand up for the things we care about. Thousands of us have met up over the last few months to handover the Save Our NHS petition to our MPs. [3] And after we worked together to stop the forests sell-off, we got together to celebrate successfully saving our woods. [4]

We need to move fast to decide what to tell the panel about what we want for the future of our forests. Find out more about organising a forest get-together here:

Thanks for being involved,

Hannah, Johnny, Marie, David, Cian, Becky and the 38 Degrees team

PS If you can’t organise an event this time, then there are other ways to be involved. You can chip in to help keep the campaign to protect our forests going by clicking here:


More about the forest sell off

Posted: April 4, 2011 in 2011, News

Copied from Singletrack

Access: Forestry Panel want your input

The newly appointed (and mountain biker free) DEFRA Independent Panel on Forestry Policy in England have been given their Terms of Reference – and part of their job is going to be “engaging and taking evidence from the widest range of views and interest” about the future path England’s Forestry should take.

The Panel are due to give their report to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the autumn, so that means there’s plenty of time to submit your thoughts on how Britain’s publicly owned forest should be managed and what should be done about access and facility for bikers.

Here’s the vital information…

“The Panel is getting its work underway and is keen to hear from everyone with an interest in England’s forest and woodlands.

The Chair, the Rt Rev Bishop James Jones, and the wider Panel are keen to get out and about, to meet local and specific interest groups, and find the best ways to engage people in a dialogue about the future of forestry and woodland policy in England, and on the role of the Forestry Commission in implementing it. The Panel will be updating its web pages with information on how it intends to do this and about the work of the Panel shortly (see This page gives the terms of reference and list of Panel members, who were appointed by the Secretary of State for Environment, Caroline Spelman.

We really welcome your suggestions on places to visit, issues and evidence the panel should consider, and practical ideas. We are sorry that we cannot respond individually to every e-mail we receive. If you would like to be added to our mailing list then please reply with the details listed below.


E-mail address:


Secretariat to the Independent Panel on Forestry
Area 3B
Nobel House
17 Smith Square
London SW1P 3JR

We will keep these details on a database, which will to enable us to contact individuals and organisations, with news on the work of the Panel, to invite views and to send invitations to events. We may share this information with Defra and the Forestry Commission for the purpose of contacting people with news, opportunities to comment and invitations to events relating to forestry and woodlands.”

Take a peek at this and then maybe take a peek at this

Is this the Government listening to the people or is it simply them letting us think we have won whereas they are simply slipping legislation etc in the back door?

Trust these fiends as far as you can single handedly throw a double decker bus.

We have not won the fight, we have simply finished an initial skirmish.

In case you think cyclists are represented in the decision making (and that goes for anyone who isn’t a ‘rambler’) think again. We are going to get stitched up and there is nothing much we can do about it unless we continue to make a stand.

WE’VE WON! The government has just confirmed they’re totally scrapping the forest sell-off. The phoney consultation has been cancelled. The sinister legal changes to pave the way for privatisation have been dropped.

We did this together. Next time someone tries to tell any of us that signing petitions or emailing our MPs doesn’t work, we’ll know exactly what to say:“People power does work. Just look at the Save Our Forests campaign”.

Over half a million of us can feel very proud of what we’ve achieved together today.

On the 38 Degrees Facebook page, members are celebrating. Fiona, for example, says “Fantastic news! And great for letting people see that actually there IS something they can do when they don’t like what the government does, and their protest can make a difference!” Even Sky News seems to agree: “This is a great example of people power”. [1]

38 Degrees members voted to start this campaign. We knew that making forests safe for future generations was something worth fighting for. So we signed the petition, emailed our MPs, put up posters in our local woodlands, organised local events, and chipped in for a people-powered opinion poll and national newspaper ads.

Local groups joined in, as did national organisations like the National Trust, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace, and celebrities who spoke out in the press. Together we stopped the sell-off plans. [2]

We need to keep an eye on what happens next, but we’ve shown that if forests are under threat, people power can come to the rescue. Right now, let’s celebrate that we forced the government to back down from plans to sell up to 100% of our woodlands!

Hundreds of 38 Degrees members are celebrating now on our Facebook page and the website. You can click here to join in: and

And if you know someone who thinks writing to MPs or signing a petition is a waste of time, maybe you should forward them this email!

Thanks for everything you did to save our forests,

David, Hannah, Johnny and the 38 Degrees team

PS – 38 Degrees isn’t funded by big business, government or political parties – winning campaigns relies on thousands of us chipping in. To help keep us campaigning on the issues that matter to you, you can chip in by making a:
Direct Debit donation:
One-off donation:

PPS – Here’s what other 38 Degrees members are saying on the Facebook page now:
Fiona  – “Fantastic news! And great for letting people see that actually there IS something they can do when they don’t like what the gov does, and their protest can make a difference! Good work 38 Degrees getting this going.”
Phil  -“Well done! Now to tackle the planned dismantling of the NHS. God knows there are major problems – this will do absolutely nothing to solve them – we aint seen nothing yet!
Julie  -“People power can work !!”
Dave  – “It’s a seriously well done, pat on the back to all involved, from the 38 Degrees Team and us members to the public that got behind it. It goes to show that WE THE PEOPLE rule! Now to get the same response to the NHS campaign, the TAX dodgers and The Robin Hood TAX! And away we go! Woo-Hoo!”
Anne  – “Fantastic. This would never have happened without the power of the Internet and social networking. Let’s hope the same can be achieved with the NHS.”

You can join in at:

[1] Forest Sell-Off
Sky News: “Forest Sell-Off Plans ‘To Be Axed”,_Sky_Sources_Say
Independent: “Forest farce: Cameron to axe sell-off policy”

[2] Dozens of groups across the country organised Save Our Forests rallies and meetings. The campaigning also took place on a national scale, with great work by organisations like Woodland Trust, Save Our Forests, Save Our Woods, Save Britain’s Forests,Greenpeace, WWF, National Trust, Ramblers and The British Horse Society. All the groups involved are listed here:

Spending Cuts and Forest Parks

Posted: February 16, 2011 in 2011, General
Tags: ,

…and so it goes on. Cameron and Osborne’s scorched earth policy continues apace and we haven’t even started to feel the real pain yet. Lock everything up, nail everything else down, the Government will take it if you don’t.

MP in the east of the region can be left in no doubt how the general population feel about the proposed forest disposal

Well done to everyone that attended. Maybe we all need to collar our MPs and let them know how we feel. I have still had no response from my MP Matthew Hancock. I hope it is because his post bag is full.

What worries me is the niggling doubt (thanks Graham) that the Government are up to something else more insidious and are using the forests as a smokescreen.