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Urgent action required – Government’s Forestry Review Panel

The government’s proposed changes to the ownership and management of public forests in England pose a very real danger to UK motor sport – and in particular Stage Rallying.

The Independent Panel established earlier this year to look at the forestry issue and make recommendations to government contains only one representative of leisure users – and that is the Ramblers’ Association. Consequently, there is a great danger that the interests of motor sport will not be considered in the panel’s final report; the disastrous impact of this would be to risk motor sport being excluded from both the public forest estate and any of the forests transferred into private ownership.

The panel is currently consulting with the general public to find out ‘What the forests mean to you?’ It is essential that as many people as possible from the motor sport community make their views known to the panel.

THE DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF ENTRIES IS SUNDAY 31 JULY 2011.

The panel is asking the following questions:

Q1 – What do forests and woods mean to you?
Q2 – What is your vision for the future of England’s forests and woods?
Q3 – What do you feel to be the benefits of forests and woods to:
 a) you personally;
 b) society as a whole;  
 c) the natural environment; and
 d) the economy?
Q4 – We would like to hear about your suggestions of practical solutions and good practice which can be replicated more widely.
Q5 – What do you see as the priorities and challenges for policy about England’s forests and woods?

In order to submit feedback to this consultation, simply send an email to: forestrypanel@defra.gsi.gov.uk, detailing your name and answering as many of the questions as you wish.

PLEASE RESPOND BEFORE THE END OF THIS WEEKEND.

It is essential that as many people as possible emphasise the importance to motor sport of continued access to the public forest estate. If we fail to do this, there is every chance that the requirements of motor sport will simply not be considered by the panel.

A sample response paper can be found here with some key issues highlighted that you might like to consider when completing your submission. You do not need to answer all the questions, but please respond in your own words, as this is significantly more impactful than an obviously orchestrated campaign.

Further information about the panel and the consultation process can be found on the defra website: http://www.defra.gov.uk/forestrypanel/


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