Save the forests – how can the National Trust help?

The Government’s proposal to withdraw from the management of England’s forests and ancient woodlands is a watershed moment in the history of the nation.  And now the National Trust would like to know your thoughts – how can we help save these forests?

The unforeseen plan to dispose of ‘heritage forests’ such as the Forest of Dean and the New Forest, has surprised and shocked many. These much-cherished places have been in public hands for centuries, enjoyed by everyone for generation after generation.

The nation-wide outpouring of concern over their future is testimony to their importance to the life of the country and evidence of their vital role in providing access to nature, tranquillity and other life-enhancing resources, essential to the well-being of all citizens.

The future of these important national assets will now be decided in a matter of weeks. It is therefore essential and urgent that everyone who cares for these special places now make their voices heard over what should happen to them.

For 116 years, we have helped to save the places the people of this country most value when their existence, or access to them, has been threatened. If the government is determined to pursue the course of action it has outlined and the public wish us to, we are ready to play our part in giving them a secure future.

Around the country, vital landscapes, from the White Cliffs of Dover, to the Cornish coast, to the Lake District, have been preserved in perpetuity forever, for everyone, by the efforts and generosity of people working with the Trust. Most recently, Seaton Delaval Hall and a large portion of its estate was saved after a strenuous effort by the local community and the Trust, collaborating together.

Now, as the future of our great forests and woodlands is under threat, we want to know what the nation wants to see happen and are ready to discuss the future of these places. The Secretary of State has given assurances that access, conservation and the amenity value of these forests will be guaranteed in perpetuity. But there is, as yet, no explanation as to how this will be ensured.

We are, as a matter of urgency, ready to enter a dialogue with all who care for them – local groups, NGOs, conservationists, other forest users and individuals – as to how their future can be preserved for future generations.

Tell us what you think

Save our forests – How can the National Trust help?

There are lots of ways to get in touch and tell us how you’d like us to get involved: