CLA welcomes Forestry Panelís recognition of private sector
The CLA today (Wednesday, 4 July) welcomed the Independent Panel on Forestry's recognition of the private forestry sector's role in supporting the economy and the environment.
CLA President Harry Cotterell said: "The Panel's Final Report recognises that private woodland ownership still has a major part to play, and this is despite the sector being in the economic doldrums for 20 years.
"Proper forestry policy should lead to a renaissance for the woodland sector. Timber is the greenest material for construction, woodfuel is among the most environmentally friendly sources of energy, and woodland provides immense benefits for wildlife and the environment."
The CLA President, whose organisation represents the interests of most owners of forestry and woodland in England, said he was "relieved the Panel has sensibly not recommended the imposition of greater rights of public access to privately owned woodland".
Mr Cotterell said: "Around 60 percent of woodland access is currently provided by the private sector, but providing public access to privately owned woodland must be a commercial decision for the owner. It should not be a State-imposed brake on economic or environmental work.
"The Panel has stressed the need to improve the overall quality of management without getting hung up on ownership in the private sector."
The CLA President added: "During the furore over the Government's consultation on forestry last year, the private sector's enormous contribution was not recognised. This report has gone some way to redressing the balance."
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