A new government scheme could see ancient trees chopped down and replaced by 100 more elsewhere

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Ancient forest under 'real threat' Ancient forest under 'real threat'

Ancient woodland in Epping Forest is facing a “real threat” after a proposed government scheme could see centuries old trees hacked down, it is claimed.

Environment Secretary Owen Patterson has faced a fierce backlash since announcing details of the 'biodiversity offsetting' scheme which he plans to introduce.

If it is given the go ahead, trees which are hundreds of years old could be chopped down and replaced by 100 more elsewhere, according to opponants.

And it is feared Epping Forest could be affected due to the government pressure to build new homes in the district.

Rupert Read, of the Green Party, criticised the scheme.

He said: “I used to live for a while in Leyton and I visited Epping Forest. I have got a personal interest in that wonderful woodland.

“He (Patterson) has said that he thinks it could be considered that ancient woodland will be gotten rid of and replaced by new plantations.

“Patterson does not seem to get if you replace ancient woodland it can never be like for like.

“It is a real worry.”

“This is exactly what happened a couple of years ago when the Conservative government threatened to sell off the forests which are owned by the government. There was a huge reaction and it was cancelled,” He added.

“People want to keep their small piece of ancient woodland.

“I think that Patterson might have bitten off more than he can chew.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has been contacted for comment.
 

 

Comments (7)

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9:53am Wed 8 Jan 14

Compton Akers says...

Green Party scaremongering as usual as the forest is under the corporation of London protection for these very reasons. A park constable told me.
Green Party scaremongering as usual as the forest is under the corporation of London protection for these very reasons. A park constable told me. Compton Akers
  • Score: 3

8:12pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Bill_Ellson says...

For somebody who purports to have a 'personal interest' in Epping Forest Mr Read appears to be woefully ignorant of its ownership and history. In the 19th century the City of London Corporation bought up the Forest and fought various court battles to protect it from development. The City has continued to manage the Forest for ALL Londoners, even those like Mr Read who are members of a political party that seeks to abolish the Corporation. Mr Read really should decide which side he is on.
For somebody who purports to have a 'personal interest' in Epping Forest Mr Read appears to be woefully ignorant of its ownership and history. In the 19th century the City of London Corporation bought up the Forest and fought various court battles to protect it from development. The City has continued to manage the Forest for ALL Londoners, even those like Mr Read who are members of a political party that seeks to abolish the Corporation. Mr Read really should decide which side he is on. Bill_Ellson
  • Score: 6

12:19pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Dave mp says...

Is he afraid there will be hundreds of Romanians, etc will be camped out in Epping Forest? So sell it off for profit first?
Is he afraid there will be hundreds of Romanians, etc will be camped out in Epping Forest? So sell it off for profit first? Dave mp
  • Score: 4

4:21pm Thu 9 Jan 14

UKIP-local says...

I fear that ownership or stewardship of the forest would not be enough to prevent its significant damage at the hands of the current politicians who are desperate for a higher population in these islands and the housing to accommodate them.

One could see direct statute requiring the City of London to hand over land.

One could see threats to the very existence of the CoL if it failed to carry out ministers wishes - that is hoe politics works these days, and there would be a number in the City who might favour a knighthood for doing their bidding instead of the sack for refusing.

The sequence is clear: first it was the green belt that came under attack next the areas of special scientific interest and now forests. We are ruled (no longer governed) by some pretty obnoxious people and we are their enemy.
I fear that ownership or stewardship of the forest would not be enough to prevent its significant damage at the hands of the current politicians who are desperate for a higher population in these islands and the housing to accommodate them. One could see direct statute requiring the City of London to hand over land. One could see threats to the very existence of the CoL if it failed to carry out ministers wishes - that is hoe politics works these days, and there would be a number in the City who might favour a knighthood for doing their bidding instead of the sack for refusing. The sequence is clear: first it was the green belt that came under attack next the areas of special scientific interest and now forests. We are ruled (no longer governed) by some pretty obnoxious people and we are their enemy. UKIP-local
  • Score: -2

4:55pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Bill_Ellson says...

The City of London Corporation is a unique mix of private and public. Although it provides 'local authority' services to the Square Mile and raises Council Tax and levees Buisness Rates to do so (albeit most of the business rates go straight to the Treasury) it is also a private body (even through all the members of the Common Council are elected). Epping Forest is the City of London's private property and as such protected from government seizure by the Europen Charter of Human Rights.

Apart from the Greens the only party in living memory to propose the abolition of the City was Michael Foot's Labour Party in 1983. Labour's manifesto, neatly summed up by Gerald Kaufman as the longest suicide note in history, was unsurprisingly emphatically rejected by the British Electorate. UKIP appear to support the rabid right wing of the Conservative Party in seeking Britain's withdrawl from the Charter and the protection of property rights that it provides.

Like Mr Read, UKIP-local really should decide which side he, she or it is on.
The City of London Corporation is a unique mix of private and public. Although it provides 'local authority' services to the Square Mile and raises Council Tax and levees Buisness Rates to do so (albeit most of the business rates go straight to the Treasury) it is also a private body (even through all the members of the Common Council are elected). Epping Forest is the City of London's private property and as such protected from government seizure by the Europen Charter of Human Rights. Apart from the Greens the only party in living memory to propose the abolition of the City was Michael Foot's Labour Party in 1983. Labour's manifesto, neatly summed up by Gerald Kaufman as the longest suicide note in history, was unsurprisingly emphatically rejected by the British Electorate. UKIP appear to support the rabid right wing of the Conservative Party in seeking Britain's withdrawl from the Charter and the protection of property rights that it provides. Like Mr Read, UKIP-local really should decide which side he, she or it is on. Bill_Ellson
  • Score: 1

5:04pm Thu 9 Jan 14

myopinioncounts says...

Who believes that new trees would be planted to replace those lost? How many times have developers failed to honour pledges written into contracts because they were not made to do them first?
Who believes that new trees would be planted to replace those lost? How many times have developers failed to honour pledges written into contracts because they were not made to do them first? myopinioncounts
  • Score: 2

5:15pm Thu 9 Jan 14

Bill_Ellson says...

myopinioncounts? No it does not because you have failed to read either the comment made by Compton Akers or the comments made by me. If you cannot be bothered to make any effort to understand issues before commenting on them, you cannot complain when people disegard your ill informed remarks.
myopinioncounts? No it does not because you have failed to read either the comment made by Compton Akers or the comments made by me. If you cannot be bothered to make any effort to understand issues before commenting on them, you cannot complain when people disegard your ill informed remarks. Bill_Ellson
  • Score: -2

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