Cheshire Wildlife Group
"For those who enjoy the nature around us"
A monthly factual article about an issue regarding/affecting our wildlife.
Article of the month: April
Save Our Forests Campaign
What could be gone?
National treasures like the The Forest of Dean, Sherwood Forest and The New Forest could be sold off. Once they are gone, they will be lost forever. For Cheshire, this could mean Delamere Forest, Cheshire's largest forest, could be sold off as part of the nationwide sell-off. Obviously every county doesn't want to lose their treasures. If our woodlands go to the private buyers, they will be removed from the hands of the Forestry Commission who, in my opinion, do take good care of our forests. The wildlife cannot be supported by our gardens and rural areas alone, as woodlands are like cities to our fauna. Rare and endangered species rely on woodland primarily for their survival, and forests are a backbone for the survival of our wildlife ecosystem, supporting rare plants, creatures and animals which need that particular eco-system to thrive. Not to forget that forests absorb C02 emissions naturally, reducing the effects of climate change. I'm sure it's the same situation with other huge woodlands, but thanks to good management and good care of our forests the Polecat has been making a very slow return to Delamere which has been monitored well. If the FC lose control of this land, this monitoring will almost definitely disappear. Also, despite not affecting Cheshire forest-lovers, Cumbrian Forests like Grizedale and Whinlatter support Red Squirrels which have been almost extinct in Cheshire for many years and are making a scattered increase through conservation efforts, thanks to the FC. Logging could disrupt these efforts, then leaving our gardens as the primary habitat- which is not enough support for many species. No matter what the Government promise us- we can't be sure they'll stick to that!
Not only will it affect wildlife, where else are we going to go to mountain bike down trails, go for Sunday strolls or hikes, walk our dogs or ride horses if popular, busy forests are fenced off or run-down? Delamere and many other FC Woodlands offer fantastic wildlife-habitat and spotting opportunities- and plenty of brilliant Mountain Biking trails and walks. Also, think about businesses operating within them...
Politicians haven't got a clue. The new government are all for saving money- but in the wrong places. If we can't save our own forests from an unforeseeable future, the Amazon has no hope. Forests hold heritage, our natural environment, and beautiful things within it. Politicians need to go for more walks to realise how beautiful they really are!
It's not too late! New plans will have to push through Parliament before they take place, which is likely to be no earlier than Spring next year. But, new ideas and discussions on the proposals are being released on the subject by Environmental Secretary Caroline Spelman regularly. Delamere could very well be safe but what about the rest?
But what can I do to save our forests?
-Add yours and your friends/families names to the 95,000+ signatures petition at:
-Write a letter to your local MP and if you can, the Prime Minister. Hopefully they will listen to you and help do something about it. Don't know your MP? http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/
Save time by downloading a template from the website below. Do add that you want their personal views and not a ready-made letter by DEFRA of a few pages long and difficult to understand like I recieved..
-Distribute posters and raise awareness! The site above supplies you with a letter template (for the MP's), posters, mock 'for sale' signs, petition lists and leaflets you can simply print and place or distribute to people in your local area! This makes raising awareness easier for you! I have done the same and it seems to have worked well!
-Write into your local newspaper with your concerns! (But not the Chester Chronicle as I have already done so 16/12)
Thanks for your support! The Forests need your help!
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Established by Alex Staniforth February 2009