Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Presentment to The Verderers: NFA Response to the Independent Panel on Forestry

Presentment to The Court of Verderers.

Wednesday 20th July 2011
Peter Roberts. Chairman. New Forest Association.

The New Forest Association asks that the Verderers consider supporting the response of this Association when they respond to the Independent Panel on Forestry. Our submission is detailed so I will just highlight six points.

1 The New Forest Crown Estate should be kept intact because the back-up land and cottages are vital to commoning.

2 Remove intensive commercial forestry because the plantations sterilise bio-diversity. A return to broad leaved woodlands in some areas would reverse this. It would probably take 50-60 years to harvest existing plantations thereby allowing the timber extraction industry to adapt to the changes.

3 Replace Forestry Commission with landscape managers. It is difficult for the Commission to adhere to national policy whilst attempting to manage a unique area in an appropriate manner.

4 Retention of local expertise in any new body is vital because many Commission staff have great local knowledge.

5 The New Forest could be the basis of an Ecological Restoration Zone thereby fulfilling needs recognised in the Lawton report 'Making Space for Nature' and the recent Government White Paper.

6 Last but not least the retention of the New Forest Acts is of fundamental importance.

How the Forest is cared for matters more than who cares for it.

The full submission may be found on our website.