Sunday, 23 January 2011

by Alfred Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

There is a plan to sell of many of our forests, currently looked after by the Forestry Commission. According to a report in the Sunday Telegraph: “The Forestry Commission owns about 620,000 acres of land in England, including the New Forest, the Forest of Dean and parts of Sherwood Forest. The Government has already announced its intention to sell off 15 per cent of all land owned by the Forestry Commission in the course of this parliament in the hope of raising as much as £100 million. A consultation launched this week by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will put forward plans to sell off the remaining 85 per cent.”

In an Opinion Poll published yesterday 75% opposed the plans of David Cameron and his Government. The Sunday Telegraph published a letter organised by “Save England’s Forests” signed by 100 celebrities including Dr Rowan Williams; Carol Ann Duffy, the poet laureate; Dame Judi Dench, the Oscar-winning actress; Bill Bryson, the author and president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England; Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, the celebrity chef; Joanna Trollope, the author; Lady Helen Taylor, the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, and Richard Briers the actor.

The President of Save England’s Forests’ is Rachel Johnson, the writer and sister of London Mayor Boris Johnson.

Our forests and woodlands are places where wild life can flourish, a place of nurture for many species of our native plant life and a place of recreation for many people. They are part of a national heritage which should be preserved for future generations and not be sold off for the money they could provide. Once gone they could be lost for ever. It’s not that long ago when Thatcher sold of the “family silver before and Brown sold gold at a totally unrealistic price. Is this to be a repeat?

If you like me are strongly opposed to this, which could include the public being banned from access, woodland being destroyed and not maintained, the possibility of some being used for development into housing estates and golf courses then please think about joining this Campaign. click here

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