Forest takeovers questioned

The National Trust is being "hard-nosed" about the possibility of taking on responsibility for woodland currently managed by the Forestry Commission, director-general Fiona Reynolds said last week.

"Timber prices fluctuate and forests need long-term management," she said. "We can't just take it on and make a fortune out of it. We already have forests, though none are managed solely for profit - in fact, most run at a loss."

Indicating some dissatisfaction with the Government's approach to the proposed sell-off, she added: "There's a question as to whether it's been thought through. We had no prior warning before the proposals came out and we haven't yet made any decisions.

"There's still a long way to run and there are still so many questions we don't have answers to. Clearly, it has touched a nerve with the public, but if the Government does proceed with its plans we would want to be involved."

She said that while the trust was in principle capable of taking on such a role, "it's a big ask for any charity, especially smaller ones".

The trust's chairman Simon Jenkins echoed Reynolds' views, saying: "We have residual arrangements with a number of individual properties, but they are under pressure and we are fighting to hold onto them - we are chary of taking on any more such arrangements."

Jenkins added that 2010 had been "a sensational year" for the trust. "We have had more visitors, more members and more income than ever before," he said. The trust's 3.8 million members yielded the highest membership income - £130m - of any UK organisation.

"On current trends, we will have four-million members by 2013," Reynolds added. "I'd love to get it to five-million."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Business planning - Cash-flow management

Business planning - Cash-flow management

Wider market volatility can have a big impact on cash flow but there are ways to avoid problems, Neville Stein explains.

Chainsaws - Improving performance

Chainsaws - Improving performance

Battery chainsaws offer many advantages while innovative technology shelps the latest petrol models meet emissions standards, writes Sally Drury.

Chainsaws tested and reviewed: battery v petrol

Chainsaws tested and reviewed: battery v petrol

How do the latest battery models shape up against new petrol chainsaws when tested at Bridgwater College? Sally Drury reports.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Custodian Awards

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

Tree consultant Jeremy Barrell reflects on the big issues in arboriculture.

Products & Kit Resources