10 May 2011

Derek Wall at Keep Our Forests Public Protest, 14th Saturday

Worthing Keep Our Forests Public is staging a rally and walk from Whiteways car park on the A29 near Amberley and Arundel at 12 noon on Saturday May 14. Map reference TQ 001 107, 2.25 miles south west of Amberley railway station.

Although the government backed away from its original controversial plans to raixe £250m by selling off forest land, the group is warning that the danger is not yet over and ‘piecemeal privatisation by stealth’ is on the Whitehall agenda.

Speakers will include Marion Shoard, author of The Theft of the Countryside and This Land is Our Land, Tony Whitbread, director of the Henfield-based Sussex Wildlife Trust, and Derek Wall, an environmentalist and former principal speaker of the Green Party.

Said a spokesman for Keep Our Forests Public: “This event has a double significance for us. First, we would like people to join us in celebrating the success that has been achieved so far by a such an impressive mobilisation of support for our public forests.

“But we also need to keep alert to the fact that the government admits it is still planning to sell off 15 per cent of national woodland over the next four years.

“We simply do not think this is acceptable – England’s forests and woods are our finest treasure and we will not stand by and watch them being handed over into unaccountable private hands.

“We urge everyone who cares about our forests to come along and support our short rally and then join us in a walk through the beautiful Houghton Forest, one of the Forestry Commission sites under long-term threat from misguided government policy.”

Whiteways is on the A29 north of Arundel and south-west of Amberley.

A lift-sharing scheme will operate from the Beechwood Hall hotel in Wykeham Road, Worthing, at 11am.


Andy Wightman said...

The problem, as I tried to articulate in an Observer piece in January http://bit.ly/ecnj90 is that "our forests" are no ours at all. They are owned by a Minister of the Crown. At each election we elect a Parliament and a Government is formed which exercises powers on our behalf but with no direct participation from us. Ministers are thus free to sell off forests. We need a new ownership model that vests title in local elected land boards or in a new constitutional form such that ownership is entrenched with the public.

Derek Wall said...

strictly speaking I believe in common pool property rights a la Karl Marx and Elinor Ostrom but I have no illusions about the plans of this government.

thanks Andy, do look at CPR models if you can!

Derek Wall said...

apologies I can see from your blog you know about commons