Butterfly Conservation has today welcomed the Government’s announcement that it will not sell-off publically owned forests.
Environment Secretary Owen Patterson, responding to a report from the Independent Panel of Forestry, said that a new public body would also be created to secure the future of the nation’s forests.
The Forestry Commission would also receive additional funding to deal with ongoing problems such as Ash dieback disease.
Today’s announcement comes in the wake of a public outcry following Government attempts to sell-off the public forest estate.
The Independent Panel of Forestry was set up to consider the future of England’s woodlands after widespread objections resulted in a Government U-turn on the plans two years ago.
Our woods and forests provide vital habitats for many species of declining butterfly and moths and other wildlife.
Butterfly Conservation has long called for existing woods to be actively managed to save declining species and we are pleased that our comments have been acknowledged by the Government.
Martin Warren, Chief executive of Butterfly Conservation explained: “We are delighted that Government has decided that the State should not sell off Forestry Commission woods and inject some much needed funds into our forests.
“Whilst we welcome the target to expand English woodlands, we urge that equal attention is given to the loss of biodiversity in existing woodlands, especially the loss of many beautiful butterflies and moths.
“We must ensure that existing woods are properly managed for people and wildlife.”