Fineshade Wood

DSCF2971_2I’m glad that Forest Holidays have decided not to appeal the planning authoritiy’s decision not to permit a major habitat-destroying development in Fineshade Wood.

But rumours are that a revised application is heading our way.

It’s a pity that Forest Enterprise have not learned their lesson on this one, given that there is much to praise over their management here and elsewhere (though not everywhere), and given that they really shouldn’t want their environmental credentials lowered by a deal with a developer.

This blog will be paying close attention to this matter and the performance of local wildlife NGOs – in particular the Beds, Cambs and Northants Wildlife Trust who have earned two black marks from me this year: for not being outspoken over Fineshade Woods and for not joining the Hen Harrier Day thunderclap (one of relatively few WTs that did not!). You’re an NGO not a consultancy remember!

But whereas I can simply transfer my money to another WT (I may join Derbyshire – they seem pretty good) I have no choice over giving my taxes to Forest Enterprise – and on the whole I feel I get pretty good value for my investment. But if FE step too far towards making money and away from public goods then they might as well be privatised.

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1 Reply to “Fineshade Wood”

  1. The rumours of another similar application at Fineshade come from an impeccable source - our new ENC councillor, Helen Harrison, who was told of the plan when she was invited to a meeting with Forest Holidays and the Forestry Commission. However, there are similar "rumours" from at least 3 other potential Forest Holidays sites across the country. All are on the Public Forest Estate and all face being leased out to the private sector for 125 years.

    What we would like to know now is who, precisely, in the Forestry Commission makes the decision to go along with the Forest Holidays land-grabs? Which committee in the Forestry Commission approves that decision, and at what stage? We know the Commissioners themselves are not involved and it seems that even the England National Committee no longer gives its approval before an application is made. Who was responsible for the extraordinary decision to apply at Fineshade - an Ancient Woodland, SSSI-worthy site - and a decision that brought the Commission into such disrepute. Were FC's own ecologists consulted at any time? Who is accountable within the Commission?

    Answers, please!

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