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The Forest of Dean is under threat:join the rally tomorrow

The Forest of Dean is under threat:join the rally tomorrow

Billy Thackray Billy Thackray

The Forest Of Dean is an amazing resource for all types of cycling, downhilling to XC but it’s under threat due to the Governments planned massive sell-off of Forestry Commission woodland.
The woods that contain your favourite downhill runs and trails could be auctioned and fenced off, logged or turned into golf courses and holiday villages. It’s that serious!

If you’re a local then show your support by joining the “Hands Off Our Forest” rally, 12.30pm at Speech House, Monday January 3rd 2011.

Speech House is just up the road from Pedalabikeaway so if you’re planning a days riding why not pop along and show your support first.

Checkout the map if you’re lost.

If you haven’t already…then sign the Save Our Forests petition over one hundred thousand have already signed.


Here’s the info from the Forest Of Dean and Wye Valley Review:

LEADING environmentalist, Jonathon Porritt, the Bishop of Guildford, the Rt Rev Christopher Hill and Labour’s leader in the House of Lords, Baroness Jan Royall, will all be speaking at what promises to be a rousing Hands off Our Forest rally next Monday (January 3).

Events start at 12.30pm with a procession through the Cyril Hart Arboretum accompanied by the Forest of Dean Brass Band.

After gathering in Speech House Meadow, there will be short speeches from Jan Royall, Jonathon Porritt, the Bishop of Guildford and Eric Morris on behalf of the Freeminers’ Association among others.

There will also be music, a community singalong and a fire sculpture by Phil Bews as well as a Hands off Our Forest information stand and letter-writing station.

To find out more see the attached poster or go to www.handsoffourforest.org/

Meantime, Mr Jim Paice MP, the minister in charge of charting the Public Bodies Bill (giving ministers the power to sell-off public forests among other things) appeared before a select committee sub-committee inquiry on forestry. A record of the meeting on November 24 has been published.

Addressing a question from Lord Cameron of Dillington’s, Mr Paice answered: “Part of our policy is clearly established: we wish to proceed with, to correctly use your word, very substantial disposal of public forest estate, which could go to the extent of all of it. As I said earlier, the precise detail of who it will go to and in what form has yet to be decided.”


A COUNCIL delegation is going to the House of Lords on Monday January 10 to present the case for exempting the Dean from an England-wide sell off of public forests.

The delegation follows narrow approval (by one vote) of a motion by Cllr Andrew Gardiner which reads:
“To avoid attempts which could lead to the privatisation of the Royal Forest of Dean – this council should do everything in its power to consolidate and enhance the exemption from sale pertaining to the Statutory Forest of Dean and the protected contiguous woodlands of Highmeadow, Clearwell and Hope.

“Furthermore, because an enabling bill would empower ministers to act unilaterally and remove effective parliamentary scrutiny, this Council should seek to extend and consolidate the protective designation of the Forest afforded by Section 38 (2A) of the Forestry Act 1967.”

Cllr Gardiner’s resolution means the council will also be writing to Mark Harper MP and the Prime Minister, David Cameron MP requesting support for exemption for the Forest.

  1. Leon

    Scary days man , I hope it does not turn out to be as bad for us as it could be , would be devastated been riding and building trails there for nearly 10 years now

  2. loamranger

    Thanks for making me aware of this. I have sent the message on to many more.

  3. rusty

    man this country is seriously full im of to new zealand see ya

  4. Joe

    This country is going haywall.

  5. Ross

    I am fully in support of the forests to be kept as they are now allowing access to all. Obviously i would hope that they suceed in exempting this forset and others (such as my local Dalby) for their continued use. I am starting to think that given the Tories/Lib Dems recent track record that we may not be able to save our forests from being sold off and was wondering about how we go about buying areas under a co-op style arrangement and running them ourselves. Given how much we spend on bike parts I was thinking that if each were to put £50 in (and not buy a new set of tyres/BB/headset etc) then obviously based on per 1000 contributers you get £50k. I’m only talking in very general terms but I am sure £50k would give us a fair bit of buying power and probably enough to purchase the FoD area if the Gvt would split it down in lots (they may not!), i know there is on-going maintenance and liability issues but I would have though a small admission fee would allow it to break even.
    If anyone is interesting in developing it further I would be happy to lend a hand/devote some time to it.
    If I am way off then fair enough but if not let me know otherwise.

  6. wasky

    Or make a load of letters, forward them to your mates, and email your local mp’s

    Loads of other trail center forests are for sale, I’ve seen signs up at Gisburn and was told Ae was for possibly going to be up for sale while there. You never know, might result in better access in some areas, or potential for profit making cycling schemes? Food for thought, but people should think about options when/if things are sold.

  7. charlie

    Well if theyre selling can us mtber’s not capitalize on a chance to buy up land that we’ve been lucky enough to use already?

  8. Owen

    The Forest is worth millions, not thousands, and any buyers, however well intentioned, will be fully resisted by locals who are very passionate about it being OUR Forest (ie public, a national asset)

  9. Zero Cool

    Wish I could make it, but I’m stuck working on the other side of the country this week.

  10. chris

    Very concerning, will private enterprise be willing to accept liability for any accidents on the tracks? …. don’t think so

  11. seb

    Some of the best venues we have at the moment are private land. No uplift worries… build whatever you want on the tracks…

    IF a lot of forests get sold off we may lose some great venues. We may also gain some new ones though, and improve some existing ones – who knows.

  12. Jonzo

    What next… The crown jewels?
    Where will this government stop in their quest to show “the banks” they can meet their repayments?
    Protest won’t make a shite of difference, they’ve already made up their mind!

  13. BRB


  14. olly

    Un bloody believable! I was there today, I love the place and I have signed the petition. I am proud to be a brit, but this country is an over populated ship slowly sinking.

  15. chris briscombe

    Just to let you know my husband and myself were at the march
    today,given you all our support.

    We are from Cardiff South Wales.

  16. Gary

    And yet.. As far as bike were concerned.. there were only a handful of us actually there!!!

    Unless you were all in plain clothes :) haha.

  17. Ben

    I really hope they dont sell it! I love the DownHill tracks there and so do loads of other people! You can see that when there is the 611 mini DH events there! Even when there are no events loads and loads of people go for the FlyUp DownHill uplifts!

    I dont know why not much riders turned up, so what i have heard from comments above but there is a chance they didn’t hear about it. I only found out about 10 minuets ago!

    We have to win this, and keep the land!

    If the government get it i will be so annoyed, all they do is make things worse.

    I’m gunna leave this country if they win.

  18. John

    Maybe they are planning to mine for gold?



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