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Speaking to local historians in Nottinghamshire, our trustee, Jean Macdonald, pledged to help fight the sale of publicly-owned woods and forests in Nottinghamshire. Jean was addressing the first Angel Row Local History Forum on Tuesday evening [15 February] in Nottingham Central Library. The forum is organised by the Nottinghamshire Local History Association and supported by Nottingham City Council Local Studies Library.
Said Jean: ‘Nottinghamshire and the east Midlands have fewer open spaces than many parts of the country, because the inclosure movement, back in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, bit hard and deep. Large areas of common land were stolen from the people.
‘So Nottinghamshire’s remaining open spaces, and public woods and forests are of special importance, for recreation and refreshment. Places like Sherwood Pines and other woods, many of which are part of the ancient Sherwood Forest, are of immense public value.
‘There is increasing evidence that access to green spaces is vital for both mental and physical health. The society is opposed to the sale of any publicly-owned woods or forests unless the existing level of public access (or better), on foot, horse and bike, is guaranteed in perpetuity. The government’s current proposals for selling Forestry Commission land do not provide those guarantees, so we are opposed to them.
‘In any case, industry sources suggest that these sales are likely to raise less than half the money that the government is hoping for, so they are a complete waste of time in the current financial climate,’ Jean concluded.