Domesday Book forests could return to England under new scheme

Under the new woodland scheme there is a chance that Domesday Book forests may come back to England. The Government has decided against selling off any more of its public forest estate after a panel of experts stated that the nation needs more tree cover and a wide increase in woodland in order to do this.

They want the level of woodland to be so high that it will be the largest level seen in the country in the past one thousand years. Right now there are current plans on the books to sell about 95,000 acres of woodland slated for the next five years.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman stated that forests need to remain in public hands just one year after she had to reverse her previous bid to make England’s forests private after an outcry from the public at the thought of selling all of the forests off.

After the public outcry was issued the Independent Panel on Forestry was set up in order to sell public woodlands to charities, businesses, and communities. This panel eventually came to the conclusion that the best use of public forest was to simply allow it to remain public.

Right now the Government could sell off as much as 15% of the public forest estate which is a massive number when you consider they own 258,000 hectares of land. The panel stated that the Government needs to place a high value on their woodlands because of how much benefits the forests bring to the people, economy and nature.

They also added the Government should actually promote a major tree planting scheme to help build more woodland in the future with the intent of building up the amount of public forests that are available for use for future generations.