The government is getting ready for a huge sell-off of our national forests to private firms. Online advocacy group, 38 Degrees is concerned that this will lead to forests being auctioned and fenced off, run-down, logged, or turned into golf courses and holiday villages, and have started a campaign to stop the plans.
“Ancient forests like the Forest of Dean and Sherwood Forest are national treasures – once they’re gone, they are lost forever,” warn the campaign organisers. They have mounted a petition, titled Save our Forests, to force the government to rethink and already over 95,000 people have signed. 38 Degrees hopes to push this number to 100,000 by Christmas.
The government needs to push new laws through parliament before these sell-off plans can go ahead. Campaigners believe that this will give them time to lodge objections that will stop it from happening. “If we build a huge petition, we will prove that the public doesn’t want precious woodland to be flogged off to the highest bidder,” say 38 Degrees. “That will make MPs think twice about voting for it.”
The group adds: “When we work together, we can stop the government from forcing through these kind of bad plans. They probably think that with all the focus on cuts, no-one will have time spare to speak up for forests. But already we’re proving them wrong.”