Simon Pryor, Natural Environment Director for the National Trust, said: “Last year we saw how much our woods and forests matter to us as a nation and we think that the Panel has got it right in saying that the public forest estate in England should be ‘held in trust for the nation’.
“It is also very important to see the Panels recommendation that the estate is given a new ‘purpose’ based on delivering more for nature and with stronger community engagement in the management of local forests.
“We’re committed, as an organisation with nearly a hundred square miles of woodland in its care, to enabling people to enjoy beautiful woodland. We encourage the Government to adopt and implement this report.
“If they do, the nation’s protest last year will not only have saved the public forest estate, it will have triggered a step change in the way we treat woodland in England.
“This is an ambitious report which seeks to create a woodland culture and to tackle the widespread neglect of woodland across England. We particularly welcome the emphasis on access, community involvement and the restoration of plantation woodland to valuable wildlife habitats.”
Read the full Final Report containing advice to the Secretary of State on the future direction of forestry and woodland policy in England.