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Wednesday 16 February 2011: Bull...

...finch

Actually I've had this political post <rant/> in my head for a few days. I'm a birdwatcher, I love forests - and I love forestry commission forests. I'm angry about the proposals to sell off the forests - and I know that wildlife and the nature of Britain will be degraded by these insane, profiteering ideas - it's just Tory BS...

A friend of mine, Andy, posted the following example the other day as an example of what happens when they sell forests.

Kielder Forest covers 50000 hectares. The average rotation for conifers is 50 years so 1000 hectares will be felled each year.

The rich owner will receive the profit for the felled timber free of tax. When replanting the felled area the rich owner will get £360 per hectare grant for planting conifers which for 1000 hectares is £360000 each year.

If you multiply this figure to 50000 hectares which is less than the FC estate you will see that the government grants amount to 3.6 million or about half the cost of the FC. Planting of broadleaved trees attracts a grant between 4 or 5 times this amount. The FC recreation is subsidised by the timber so the rich will not want to cut their profits. With the loss of recreation income, the payment of grants and the big reduction in tax paid by the rich the government will gain little if anything. We, the visitors to our forests will be the losers.

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