Government response

Launch of public forest estates consultation: myths busted

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Our heritage forests, such as the New Forest and the Forest of Dean, are unequivocally not for sale.

The myth - The Government is privatising all of England’s forests and as a result the public will lose access to them.

The truth - Our heritage forests, such as the New Forest and the Forest of Dean, are unequivocally not for sale. We are consulting on a proposal to transfer them to a charity or charities, and walkers, riders and cyclists will still be able to enjoy them as they do at the moment.

The consultation is on different approaches for different types of woodlands across the public forest estate, which makes up 18 per cent of England’s woodlands.

We plan to give first right to buy to community groups; transfer heritage woodlands to charities  to manage; and use long-term leases to secure ongoing public benefits from larger commercial forests.