Outdoor enthusiasts tell Forestry Panel: protect access for future generations

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Outdoor enthusiasts have come together to tell the Independent Forestry Panel that access must be ‘at the heart’ of England’s future forestry policy and that access must be protected and guaranteed for future generations.

The Forest Access User Group, made up of 10 outdoor organizations, representing over 8 million people who regularly use woodland, have come together to issue their official response to the panel’s call for views on the future of forestry in England. The Independent Forestry Panel was set up in response to the public outcry over the proposed sale of the Public Forestry Estate and has been seeking the public’s views on the future of our forests.

The User Group argues that the Public Forest Estate is ideally placed to provide public access for everyone, from dog walkers to horse-riders and cyclists, and that this access provides huge benefits to health, well-being, economic development and education. The group also argues that access rights must be maintained and increased to ensure that they can be enjoyed for generations to come. Currently much of the access enjoyed by horse-riders and cyclists in our woodland is permissive, meaning that it could be taken away if the land is sold. The group believes access should be dedicated permanently to sure everyone can enjoy access to our woods now, and always.

A copy of the Forest Access User Group’s full response can be found here.

The Forest Access User Group is made up of the following organisations: The British Horse Society, British Mountaineering Council, British Siberian Husky Racing Association, Open Spaces Society, the Ramblers, Sport and Recreation Alliance, CTC, International Mountain Biking Association, British Orienteering and The Kennel Club.

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