A plan to sell-off English forests as a cost-cutting measure has caused such a public outcry that the UK’s coalition government has been forced to back track.
It has been widely reported that the controversial proposals include privatising over 250,000 hectares and that some ancient woodlands could be turned into golf courses.
Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh said:
“People plant a tree when a loved one dies and we plant a tree to leave behind a gift for those who come after us and I think they have massively miss calculated. This is something that Mrs Thatcher tried in the 1980s.”
Such has been the anger and cross-party criticism that the government has quickly denied the plans are a “done deal” while stressing certain measures are being considered.
Conservative MP Caroline Nokes dismissed emotive comments such as trees should not be chopped down. “I spent ten years as the cabinet member for leisure on a local authority and I know what a big responsibility it is. I know quite how much it costs and the level of expertise that is needed in order to look after trees and forestry properly,” she said.
The government has blamed inaccurate speculation over its ten year plan and say they remain open minded but opposers have warned they will resist such an attack on English heritage.