Part of the
I'm writing a book which contains this forest within the first couple of chapters. It might hopefully bring some more tourrists into the area.
I take my grand daughter to the chase as I did my children she loves the adventure part with those walks and most of all the fairy dell with small doors and windows in the trees, and they want to sell our family joy, typical we are not £ s d as they used the term, its a great days outing and the walks as well and I am dissabled, I cannot walk far but she loves to walk with her Dad and Grandad, I get chance to sit and watch and nature comes to me , no its a joy to be there
My wife and I are keen visitors to Cannock Chase and have spent hours walking and cycling on the trails there and have very happy memories of time spent there with family and friends, and hope to spend many more hours there. The proposals are highly flawed as when so many other public services, health initiatives etc. are being cut back. Especially when the government is taking steps to relax planning laws about building on green belt land. In the year 2007-8 the Forestry Commission estate cost the government around £15 million pounds to maintain after the profits from timber and other profits were taken into account. This was about £60 per hectare per year or 30p per year for each person in England. Given the positive health effects and medical benefits I feel this is an absolute bargain and is the last thing that should be cut. Cannock Chase is a place that provides cheap or free low cost exercise, it helps to introduce children and young people to environmental issues and helps to address issues such as lack of exercise and obesity in young people and the area provides countless other benefits. I would suggest that having areas like Cannock Chase actually reduces the strain on the NHS through better physical and mental health and helps individuals to stay fit and healthy. So to sell the land off to private bidders is fundamentally wrong and counter intuitive.
Charitable trusts or community groups will not be able to compete with private companies, whose prime motivation would be farming timber at a high profit margin and other profit generating enterprises. Even if as part of the sell off private owners sign lease agreements / guarantees etc about allowing access to the public / maintaining footpaths or trails etc. These type of agreements have often been signed before and subsequently ignored - resulting in small fines or sanctions which are a minor inconvenience. A prime example of what could happen is Rigg Wood, on the edge of Coniston Lake in the Lake District. The public car park was sold to a private owner by the Forestry Commission and the car park is now shut - fenced off and has a locked gate. The new owner has decided to restrict public access and visitors to the area by shutting the car park. The area was already very short of parking, particularly on summer weekends and now visitors are being discouraged from visiting. Even if somehow a charity managed to raise the revenue to buy the land and Cannock Chase found itself in charitable hands - donations and grants may not be able to bring in the required finance as donations have dropped greatly with the current economic situation. One of the dangers is that slowly everything would deteriorate as the charitable trusts do not have the income streams to maintain the forests and one of the dangers is that the forests are then sold to private organisations as they are 'not sustainable'. This can't be allowed to happen and I for one will be actively protesting against the changes.
I have listend to the reassurance from the DEFRA minister and read the consultation document. Please all DONT BE FOOLED! This is all government spin at its best. The woodlands to be leased off with protective cluases can be changed by negotiation at a later date. So called heratige woods will be given to charitable trusts, who do not haven the funds or resources to manage these areas to the same standards. Biodiversity and wildlife will be at greater risk as who is activly going to ensure that forestry best practise is enforced. Natural England dont. It is people like the Fores tRangers who ensure the protection of forest wildlife and piority habitats, Who is going to do this when they are gone???
yet again the multi millionaire tory led government is planning to self off ammenities that belong to the people of the uk.i wonder who will profit from this& how many tory MPs will be being payed by the companies who will be helped to purchase these amenities raking in more money for the already rich few.65 years ago thousands of people gave all they had to save this country from being taken over now this government is just going to sell everything off well done Mr camerom & Co yet another betrayal.
Ithink its diabolicle that they are even thinking ofc selling off this most beautiful forest it serves and belongs to all of us taxpayers!!!
Many atime have ivisited this forest and had hours of pleasure there walking ,cycling and enjoying watching the huskies training there,what a rare an d lovely site too see!!!
Icant believe that this country is coming to this and that its selling everything off!!!
Of course, none of this is confirmed. Its all speculation isn't it.
I spent many happy hours in the forest
Although i am now in South Australia and have been for 30 years you can have my name on your petition.
Where we live in the bush we have a forest that we can look out on it would be devastating if anything happened to it.
Thats why S.A. is so dry and dusty because all the land was cleared of trees
Maybe you should suggest that these people come to S.A and we could dump them in a cleared paddock on a 45c day.
There is a really direct way to ensure we dont loose access and conservation access restrictions to the chase..........that is to continue to use it and ignore any new restrictions. A bit like the mass trespass movements onto Kinder Scout. After all......what can they do? Lets get more like the French, they would laugh at this threat. I already do this around Baeudesert area with its petty access restrictions. Trespass is only applicable as a law if the person is damaging it.......not simply walking or cycling through an area.
Well done Mark for starting this project - How dare the government interfere with our national history. Cannock chase is part of my life - I live within a five minute walk of it - it is beautiful and definately NOT for sale. xx Madeline - Rugeley
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