Government abandons plans to sell-off UK forestry land

David Cameron has ordered ministers to ditch plans to sell off forestry land with an official announcement expected tomorrow (Friday 18 February).

Defra secretary of state Caroline Spelman is expected to announce that the consultation on plans to sell-off 15%a of Forestry Commission land by 2020 will no longer go ahead.

It understood Spelman will also announce:

  • -the creation of an independent panel to find ways to improve access and biodiversity in forests;
  • -scrap clauses in the public bodies bill that would allow the Government to to sell all of England's forests.

The policy U-turn follows sustained opposition to the proposals from Unite and the National Trust as well as the general public.

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