Campaigners celebrate winning fight for woods

Sandra Curran who planned a yellow ribbon-tying event at Bourne Wood
Sandra Curran who planned a yellow ribbon-tying event at Bourne Wood
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CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after winning a battle to save ancient woodland from being sold.

Retired Sandra Curran, 62, of St Paul’s Street, Stamford, is among many who are overjoyed with the Government’s decision to ditch plans to sell-off thousands of acres of woodland in England.

She regularly walks with her two dogs in Bourne Wood and Braceborough Wood, which were under threat, and said: “We have had quite a victory. I am delighted.”

Mrs Curran had volunteered for 38 Degrees, an organisation which takes action on different issues, to get people to sign its petition to save the country’s woodland.

But then environment secretary Caroline Spelman confirmed yesterday that the consultation on the future management of the Public Forest Estate had been scrapped and said that all forestry clauses in the Public Bodies Bill would be removed.

Mrs Curran had also organised a yellow ribbon-tying event at Bourne Wood for Saturday, February 26, for those concerned about the proposed sell-off.

The idea of tying the ribbons around the tree would have aimed to constantly remind everyone in the wood that it was under threat. Only when the woodland was safe would they have been removed.

This event has now been cancelled and Mrs Curran said: “I thought about still going ahead with it as a celebration but decided to cancel it.”

The Friends of Bourne Wood are also overjoyed with the news. Friends’ secretary Sarah Roberts can’t stop smiling and said: “It is down to public opinion that this has happened, which shows just how powerful it can be. Everyone has done a brilliant job.”

The Government started to move towards privatisation of Forestry Commission-owned land in this country in October.

Three weeks ago the sale of 15 percent of the Commission’s woodland before 2015 was announced and the 10-week public consultation on the remaining 85 percent was launched.

The government still intends to proceed with the sale of 15 per cent of the forests but these have not yet been named. The list of sites to be sold from next year will be published within two months.