38 Degrees Logo38 Degrees Logo 38 Degrees Logo

Victory! Government to scrap plans to sell our forests

February 17th, 2011 by

Guardian and Independent front pages

Photograph by 38 Degrees

Victory! The Guardian, BBC and Independent are reporting that the government is about to scrap plans to sell our forests.

Over half a million of us should feel very proud of what we’ve achieved together. Let’s keep watching but also celebrate what we’ve done!

We’ll update this blog with more news as it comes out but here are some quick highlights of the campaign:

  • Thousands of 38 Degrees members voted to launch the Save Our Forests campaign in October 2010 when the government first announced their plans
  • Over 500,000 38 Degrees members signed the “Save Our Forests” petition
  • Over 100,000 38 Degrees members emailed or called their MPs urging them to stop the forest sell off
  • Hundreds of 38 Degrees members donated to fund a people-powered YouGov poll which found that 84% of the public wanted the forests kept in public hands
  • Thousands of 38 Degrees members chipped in nearly £60,000 to pay for ads in national newspapers to highlight that 84% of the British public opposed the forest sale.
  • Over 30 local groups around the country sprung up to campaign to stop the sell-off
  • Over 220,000 38 Degrees members shared the campaign on Facebook

Update 1: Here are a few more news reports:

Update 2: We were far from the only group working to stop the forest sell-off. It was achieved by so many of us working together.
Fantastic local groups, up and down the country, campaigned day and night to get these proposals scrapped.

The campaigning also took place on a national scale, with great work by organisations like Woodland TrustSave Our ForestsSave Our WoodsSave Britain’s Forests, GreenpeaceWWFNational TrustRamblers and The British Horse Society.

Meanwhile, a host of famous faces lent their support to the campaign and over 530,000 of us signed our petition.

Update 3

Here are a few tweets about the campaign:

Apparent cancellation of forest sell-off is an incredible victory for everyone who campaigned with @38_degrees – one of most exciting groupsless than a minute ago via web

To everyone who did their bit (however small) and made their voice heard (however quiet it seemed), congratulations. We won #saveourforestsless than a minute ago via web

We’ve saved our forests! The government has just announced that they’re going to scrap the forest sell-off. >Well done @38_degrees & signersless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

World forestry day due next month, let’s all go for a national walk in the woods you fought hard to protect #SaveOurForestsless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone

@38_degrees THANK-YOU for giving us a voice.less than a minute ago via web

Thanks to everyone for the congratulations. WITHOUT YOU today’s announcement wouldn’t have happened. TOGETHER we did this #SaveOurForestsless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

@38_degrees Brilliant news on the forestry sell-off – it’s all down to some amazing campaigning and real people power. Well done guys!less than a minute ago via web

Congrats to @38_degrees for their role in the UK forests campaign!less than a minute ago via web 

@38_degrees woohoo! So very pleased everyone got their voices heard!less than a minute ago via web

Posted in 38 Degrees Blog Posts


  • http://blogpackinglight.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/a-victory-perhaps/ A victory, perhaps « blogpackinglight

    [...] sell-off protest site 38 Degrees is reporting that the government is about to drop its sell-off plans. It cites reports by the BBC, [...]

  • Liz Searle

    Think you mean October 2010 for the launch Johnny – it just seems like a long fight. We still need to stop them selling much of the 15%, and try to reduce the 30% Public Spending Cuts on the FC which will severely damage the work they do.
    Liz – Friends of Chopwell Wood

  • Oliver

    Brilliant brilliant, brilliant work everyone!

    Frances Hitch plus family

  • johnnychatterton

    eeek, thanks Liz

  • Paul gresswell

    phenomenal new's, thank's to all who lent weight to the tide of public opinion in opposition to the sell off of this national asset

  • Jessierogers

    HAVE WE WON? I just looked at the Defra website, and it clearly states that although the debate about the 15% of commercial woodland is on hold, the consultation about 85% of heritage woodland is still open – PLEASE can some one from 38% check this out, it doesn't seem like we've won at all. Just been tricked by the spin department. Check out this link http://ww2.defra.gov.uk/news/2…/

  • Sylvie Dalton

    This SOUNDS like a victory. But let us watch carefully. What about the Public Bodies Bill, is that still going through Parliament because it gives Caroline Spelman the power to sell off our woodlands without consultation. My concern is that the Coalition will wait for the furore to abate and then quietly go about the business of ridding the public of its woodland.

  • Jessierogers

    I absolutely agree, have you read the defra link – http://ww2.defra.gov.uk/news/2…/ it looks like far from a climb down. I can't believe the WHOLE media have been reporting it without this key piece of info! They are so clever at spin – they seem to have tricked everyone.

  • Lynda

    Beware F C Rothbury Northumberland – Woods still being sold office all staff and offices still to close – does that sound like a win!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=651394919 Lynda Heron

    Beware F C Rothbury Northumberland – Woods still being sold, offices still to close and all staff and to lose jobs – does that sound like a win!

  • Jillghose

    Power to the protest @38degrees. Very inspirational, let's carry on fighting to save EMAs and u-turns on Gov spending cuts.

  • GeaVox

    The People United can never be defeated! Brilliant 38 Degrees! Brilliant, and well done!

    We must learn, in a sea of bad news, that people-power can win, if we join together, across party political divides, class, gender, race and faith, for what is right and just.

    In Bristol we are fighting to stop the Lib Dem administration from selling our open spaces to pay for improvements of others… like selling a lung to treat the other…

    PLEASE support us http://www.facebook.com/#!/hom…

  • Brenniel

    Thank you for keeping us so informed re the forests. Does this mean that the bill allowing the government to sell 100% of our forests (in the future) has also been scuppered or is that still being put forward ? Im afraid experience tells me not to believe the words that roll off their tongues.

  • George Chastney

    Now th government has made a U turn over its controversial plans for the Forestry Commission I wonder if your organisation can indicate just what happens to the cash contribution to your campaign by petitioners like myself?

  • Joseph Harrower

    Nice to see the government eating humble pie.

  • Geoffhill189

    this smaks of clever public relations work to me, how to fool people into thinking you are a listening government. Make a proposal that makes no sense and is of no real importance to your political ambitions, then retract it when you get the pradictable outcry. I would be more convinced if they back track on student fees.

  • http://twitter.com/AphexRebellion Martin Bell
  • http://www.treesforlife.info Harry Wood

    The follow-on from the campaign must be to increase the area of woodland in England and the rest of the UK — only 9% coverage in England, 12% UK as a whole, is pathetic. Woodland is the natural vegetation for most of the upland areas of the UK. These were cleared for sheep farming and charcoal production a couple of centuries ago. One way to fund it would be to divert carbon credits into carbon fixing through reforestation — carbon trading seems to be another version of the stock exchange and is exploited by big business. Also huge amounts of money have been siphoned off by criminal activity. I tried to start a campaign to do this but it appears to have been removed!

  • http://www.treesforlife.info Harry Wood

    The page on the forestry spending review in the link above has been removed

  • Darren

    It's like a breath of fresh air – The People have spoken – we are like bears waking after a long hibernation,standing very tall ready to take on the world!

    Proud To Have Signed!
    Thanks to all those that stood up for us until we found the strength to stand ourselves!

  • Ben-ja

    Thank you for all the time and effort you put into organising us. I'm confident you will carry on and keep us informed. Pat M.

  • JillS

    Presumably our cash contributions funded the campaign that has brought about the U turn! That's what I donated to and it worked. Well done 38 Degrees.

  • Gavin Higgins

    I am extremely happy today reading about this. I had thought that the government would just go ahead with their plans regardless of public opinion but this has given me back some faith in our country – we can stop things, we do have a voice and thank goodness it's been heard!

  • Andy Pryke

    Have the government done a 100% U-turn or just an 85% one? In plain language – does their announcement cover the 15 they were planning to sell off anyway?

  • Bettymcguire

    Fantastic news, wont hesitate to sign up again if this should be necessary. I am pleasantly surprised that this happend and it has strengthened my resolve to use people power in future


    Allelujah…just shows that a united voice of the 'people' can actually make a difference….I'm so glad we got involved with this and only yesterday we actually received a letter from our MP….well done all….Pam & Steve Rogers..Norfolk.

  • Redbandit0

    Well done to 38 degrees, our forests saved by people power!

  • Dyhappy

    A serious word of caution about shouting success, this is a new Conservative era of slash and burn and they are doing their upmost to dispose of assets in a short a time as possible. Possibly because they see their time in power as limited, don’t ever think we are winning the fight. They WILL sell the forests and other assets, maybe a little at a time so people don’t notice. Remember how you used to go to the dentist for free?? Remember how you could get eye tests for free?? Remember how prescriptions used to be free??

  • Sylvie Dalton

    Absolutely, we must watch them closely. How independent is this panel going to be. Coalition might fill it with 'yes' men then when it returns the stance that they want to hear – use this as a platform and justification to do as they please. A battle is won but not the war.

  • Plwinson

    I think you are right dyhappy,you can't trust any government to do the right thing for the people especially this stiched up lot,

  • Holly

    This is fantastic news. It goes to show that together, we can beat the ConDems – we don't have to take these ridiculous cuts if we all stand together. We could boot them out of power, if we wanted to.

    I think there's much wisdom is keeping one eye open, though, in case the ConDems decide to sneak this in the back door!

    Congratulations everyone!

  • Degodier

    I am absolutely chuffed! Well done to everybody!

  • Jonathan

    But I understand (from the BBC website) that “the government is allowed to sell off 15% of England's woodlands in each four-year public spending period… The current planned 15% sale is on hold… but it is due to go ahead over the next four years – raising an estimated £100m.” At this rate, the whole lot would be sold off in 27 years. Shouldn't we be watching this?

  • http://www.bant-shirts.com BanTshirts

    Great work.We do need to keep an eye on what is happening though.

  • Cmatherton

    Obviously does not do to be complacent about their decision.

  • Monica

    Be sensible. It is BECAUSE we have Lib Dems in government that we can do this.

  • Jlangrick

    Great news! Absolutely fantastic. Also great news regarding one of our other campaignes regarding huge dairy herds. I gather that has also been scuppered. I'm afraid my MP Hugh Robertson ticked me off for raising so many problems! So I am just going to stop complaining……as if!!!! From Joan Langrick, Maidstone, Kent

  • Katemundo

    If it really is 100% scrapped then this really is such amazing news. Well done 38 Degrees and well done us. I'm so happy, as I am sure the trees, squirrels, foxes, weasels, badgers, etc are too. This is such an achievement. But we should still keep watch. A close watch.

  • Jeffowen45


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000850516646 Toni Smith

    We did it !!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/tr33m4n Daniel Doyle


  • Pam

    Congratulations! This is great news for people power.

    But to be fair, this was't a political campaign for many of us. Many people who signed were in fact Tories lib dems or indeed of other political persuasions. The government have at least had the grace to admit they got it wrong this time….which is more than can be said for those who left the country in such a financial mess in the first place.Let's not alienate at least half of our supporters by slagging off the government and congratulate David Babbs, etc on organising the petition.

  • Jane P

    So glad to have played a tiny part in this, well done 38 degrees.

  • http://www.1961girl.wordpress.com 1961 Girl

    I am over the moon with excitement that the plans to sell off our forests has been scrapped. It just goes to show how the power of the people can make such a real difference. I am so proud to have been able to play a small part in this amazing outcome.

    Many congratulations to the whole team. You have done a brilliant job. Thank you.
    Juls :-)

  • Uhura

    Fantastic news! I only hope we can get enough people to be as active in opposing the dismantling of the NHS and attacks on benefits.

  • Chris1947

    If there is any money left over my modest £5 contribution can go to support the NHS campaign

  • Joan

    This is great news , congratulations to all Joan

  • Ian

    I quite agree…
    Quote: ““And thirdly I would like to announce that I am establishing an independent Panel to consider forestry policy in England. It will report to me with its findings this autumn. The Panel will advise me on the future direction of forestry and woodland policy in England, on the role of the Forestry Commission, and on the role of the Public Forest Estate. The Panel will include representatives of key environmental and access organisations alongside representatives of the forestry industry. I will shortly publish its membership and terms of reference.

    “If there is one clear message from this experience, it is that people cherish their forests and woodlands and the benefits they bring. My first priority throughout this period of debate has been securing a sustainable future for our woodlands and forests. On many occasions in the House last autumn, Ministers gave assurances that our aim in all of this has been to do more to maintain and enhance the public benefits delivered by forestry – from recreational access to wildlife protection; from tackling climate change to sustaining a wide range of small businesses. That is why my ambition to provide a better future for our forests is undiminished.

  • http://twitter.com/ManyChefsBroth Many Chefs Broth

    Great news for our forests!

  • Mary

    Fantastic News, WELL DONE 38 Degrees, about time we had a say

  • Bill Hill

    Well Done! to us all who care for what is our own!

  • Sally Legge

    very well done to all involved with this. Fantastic news, just shows what can be done with a little bit (or in this case a lot) of people power!!!

    Congratulations to you all.

  • Therese1

    We saved the forests and woods, not we have to fight for our NHS , we have to make our voices heard.

  • Adam

    Well Done, we should all be happy about this!!

  • http://www.wilderness-survival.co.uk Joe


  • Neal

    What has actually been cancelled ?

    There were two parts to this…

    1 – the forestry sell-off as included in the public consultation
    2 – the sell-off of 100,000 acres of forestry land NOT included in the consultation.

    Has the govt scrapped both or just the first one ??

    It was siad that the 2nd one was almost a “done deal” before the public even got to hear about it.

    I hope it's both, but I don't know. Does anyone else ?

  • Stravaigerjohn

    A wonderful victory. Now let us turn back other appalling government policies. stravaigerjohn.wordpress.com

  • Jim27

    A good PARTIAL victory, but until ALL woodland is safe, the work is not yet done. Let's not let our guards down too soon!

  • http://www.walkherefordshire.com Dennis Downey

    It just goes to show, that the people of england have the power, to prove the government wrong. We have taken 1500 people for a walk in the Forest of Dean, during the last year, imagine what aloss to the local economy, the closure of the forest would have ment.

  • D A Cartwright

    I am so happy about this U-turn. It really does show how much public opinion does matter – we just need to keep voicing our feelings. Well done 38 degrees for your excellent campaign. Let's hope Cameron will have a change of heart over libraries, youth groups, NHS etc (Not forgetting Student Fees).

  • Info

    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to have a say, Well done all.

  • Allen

    Well done all lets keep up the pressure

  • D A Cartwright

    Nor mine Bill Wiggins

  • steph

    Well done to them why should they be sold off forests are for people to enjoy no wonder the public decided against it organisations have not got loads of money anyway

  • http://unsuitableforadults.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/shorter-of-breath-and-one-day-closer-to-death/ Shorter of breath, and one day closer to death « unsuitableforadults

    [...] of their skeletons, we are quite chuffed that the government isn’t going to turn our natural heritage into luxury condoms for the ultra rich. I’m happy, of course, because it proves that the [...]

  • Tessa

    Yay! We did it! Thanks 38 Degrees! And all who supported the campaign. Tessa

  • Andrew A

    Now we've saved the trees, can we save the NHS? Whatever the government says, it is – against the wishes of most patients, people, GPs, PCTs and SHAs – being privatised for the benefit of a number of business and political opportunists. Forget the rhetoric, euphemisms and soft sell the NHS will cease to exist unless ORDINARY PEOPLE protest against it.

  • Ayin Araya

    Hello, my name is Ain, I'm from Chile, and a good friend of mine from London sent me the incredible news that the government of his country wants to put into action to destroy the forests, I can only say that in the Chilean Antarctic ago days we had to stop in conjunction with Greenpeace whale-hunting by Asian countries that were Debast natural ecological chain, if we could be a small country .. you will too !!!.. We are more powerful than them and we are increasingly in the world ..Fuerza amigos!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LMWR7CT2I3MPB3ZJD6IG3XQYNY Advocate

    Bloody marvellous news. Great work everyone.

  • Clara


  • Elaine & Bob

    “There aint no power, like the power of people” Many thanks to our friends Theo and Shannon (Musicians) – Seize The Day, that never cease to inspire and educate people about essential things that matter in our world..
    United we stand, divided we fall – well done everyone for voting with your feet and showing this Government that we are all not a force to be reckoned with..

  • http://twitter.com/jjhearty joe james hearty

    Hooray! Forests saved!

  • joyceh

    Shows that the power of one can become the power of many! Celebrate, stay vigilant, take action.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Britten/100000216529584 David Britten

    Congratulations on all the hard work you all have put in to achieve this result.
    I hope everyone would be willing to help in the planning / assistance of any other group who wish to protest on any other topic dear to their heart.

  • Mary Chesney

    I have heard that Environmental Agencies have also targeted any Conservation areas to be sold or got rid of.! Are the forests a sop for other sell offs. AHas anyone any info on this We mustn't be complacent.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sally-Mears/715745914 Sally Mears

    I think it was so ironic that the Conservative Party had a tree as their symbol in the run up to the election! Well done everyone at 38 degrees!

  • Maurag

    Yes we did it and can do so again. Congratulations to everyone but especially to the 38 degrees team who enabled this happening in the first place. It is seriously wonderful to feel some bit of power in these days of powerlessness.

  • David Cottee

    A big Thank You to 38 Degrees for spearheading this campaign. It was the size of the support that made the politicians think again. We must not be complacent, however, and need to lobby further to ensure that the 15% sell-off already confirmed (although currently on hold) does not quietly take place and possibly get extended in the future (the drip, drip approach). Hopefully, the various woodlands organizations will keep alert to this. Every support should be given to the Forestry Commission to improve their effectiveness – they should take note of the public support and understand what it means.
    There are many further campaigns that need urgent support. Would 38 Degrees consider addressing the problem of the partial loss of the very effective Sure Start projects. Polly Toynbee of The Guardian would be the place to start.
    David Cottee

  • Ian

    Apologies, not got the hang of this posting system yet. Meant to highlight the last sentence above ie
    “That is why my ambition to provide a better future for our forests is undiminished.”

  • Geoff Naylor

    38 Degrees is the fifth estate.

  • http://stevetomlincrafts.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/forests-saved/ Forests saved « Steve Tomlin Crafts

    [...] you to the 38degrees team, Savelakelandsforests and the half a million other people who signed the petition. This [...]

  • Chris

    I agree people power can save the HNS from privatisation. It will have to be a longer campaign but a mass petition would be a good start. Saying 'Yes' to the AV referendum will also increase people's power to influence their MPs against the party whips. A popular movement is needed to support the 'Yes' campaign.

  • Mary Chesney

    Rally tonight outside BMA Tavistock Square London… I agree with all that you say. MaryC

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/David-Coombes/1178892061 David Coombes

    renewed my trust in these campaigns ,I even got a reply from my MP ,Well done every body

  • Lorraine_murphy

    British Waterways due to go into charities – same thing! Bet there are loads of others slipping through the net – the Forests was kept very quiet at the time the bill was passed – cant understand what the so called opposition is doing

  • Cj Harrison

    Great news.

    Remember that Labout quietly sold of many many acres of woodland during its time in power though!

    If we really want to save our Woodlands then real action and involvement is vital. Web-based and media pressure are amazing tools but the fight is pointless if we do not follow through with positive action. Use the woodlands and Forestry Enterprise facilities, buy a drink in their cafe, put pressure on to plant millions of trees in otherwise unproductive landscapes NOW, volunteer to do it, join The Woodland Trust, set up a local interest group to buy ancient woodland for community benefit, become a charcoal burner, start actively managing our woodland resources……

  • Mike_thomas_95

    Agreed: Whilst in no way wanting to pour cold water on the U-turn be very very careful. Conservatives in particular are very nasty duplicitous politicians. The Panel may well be filled with Yes Men and Women. AND the government can/will sell-off 15% PA. We MUST keep monitoring Forest Sell-off otherwise it may well happen by stealth. Lets not forget though that half a million people (I've heard an MP call us Button Protesters) HAVE made a difference. Maybe Cameron was worried about a Tahrir Square situation in his back yard!!

  • J P Green

    Well done to all at 38 Degrees.
    This is what people power can achieve.
    Every time I walk in a forest I will thank everyone who made the goverment U-Turn

  • Santelder

    great stuff yayyyyyyyyy thanks for getting this petition going well done

  • Ivan H

    Excellent news, shows people power does still exist. I emailed my MP expressing my disgust at this proposal, he never even bothered to reply. Thanks are due to 38 degrees or nothing would have been done to save OUR forests.

  • Colin

    people power wins again.great news and well done to all…

  • Jan Viney

    This really is the best news EVER! We need to keep an eye on things though – this must NEVER happen again! Well done to us all!!! x

  • Mike Lane

    I'm not sure how much of a victory this is. According to the BBC:
    The government is allowed to sell off 15% of England's woodlands in each four-year public spending period.

    The current planned 15% sale is on hold while criteria are examined to ensure public benefits are protected, ministers say, but it is due to go ahead over the next four years – raising an estimated £100m.

    Also the government was not planning to sell off the remaining 85% of Forestry Commission land, it planned to “transfer ownership” to “local organisations and charitable trusts”. The Woodland Trust would like this and the National Forest Company is busy planting a huge forest across the Midlands in an area which includes half a dozen Forestry Commission woods. These may be absorbed in the process “as it would make sense”!!
    I beelieve we will have to keep our eyes peeled to see what the government actually intends.
    Mike Lane

  • Pete March

    Well done 38 Degrees and the Nation!
    This was so important to me and my family and my business. Recreationally we could have lost so much access for horse riders, mountain bikers, orienteerers, wild camping, bird watchers and walkers. For my business http://www.moorlandsbushcraft.co.uk it could have ment disaster and restricted experiences for so many young and not so young people, especially the younger ones on Forest Schools experiences. Hopfully the future is bright and we can all see the woods and trees.
    Pete March

  • Forestnuts

    Our MP (Mark Harper) accused the protesters of all of being left wing activist. He did not understand that people power is what democracy is about. We are the Big Society.


  • Iris Taylor guest

    Whoohoo! just shows what can be done together !!!! Thank you to everyone who gave their time petition.

  • Sam Lay

    Amazing. A big thank you from the bottom of my heart for the campaign, 38 degrees peeps. Not sure what the Coalition plans to form panels on public access and biodiversity are all about, but THEY know we are watching them now and that we will all use every resource available to us to prevent them and their thieving friends from ever stealing our majestic ancient woodlands. V for Victory. A proud day

  • Davidfingram

    I am not sure that celebration is due yet. Our whole environment is being challenged by too many people and climate change which is also related to too many people. Our governments (and leaders) assume we can have growth. This only occurs with destruction of our environment. Resources of all kinds are now limited so growth as we have known it (until 2007) is also limited. Unless we change our ways a very severe penalty will be exacted by our environment.

  • Clare Moynihan

    This is wonderful news – amazing. Now for another one – what about the NHS changes?

  • Michael Kingsnorth

    Best news all day!

  • Ian Tugwell

    A really great effort – gladdens the heart to have been a small part of it.


    Ian Tugwell

  • Tony

    Well Done!!
    But we must not let our guard down. I wonder why they scrapped the consultation process. Could it be that the “panel” which will replace it will be packed with the “right people” who will recommend just what the Government want them to recommend? The Government will appoint the “panel” and this is what will replace the public consultation.
    I also agree. What else are they slipping through while we have all been pre-occipied with saving thr forests
    Tony Lewis

  • Sam Lay

    …But also, V for Vigilance, if some of the previous posts are anything to go by

  • cezy

    So, it is a democracy after all…

  • Caroline

    I think politicians would sell off the air we breathe if they got half a chance, we sorted them this time, now we have to vigilant for whatever they get their greedy eyes on next!

  • Caroline

    I think politicians would sell off the air we breathe if they got half a chance, we sorted them this time, now we have to vigilant for whatever they get their greedy eyes on next!

  • Christopher_sliski

    proud of ya ! well done to all

  • glyn

    Congratulations to all at 38 degrees and all involved.

  • Jan & Dennis

    United we stand, and so do our forests!! Well done 38degrees and well done everyone who signed the pettition.

  • Stewart Preston

    As world events are showing great changes can be made when people unite together to campaign for a worthy cause……. unity is strength, true enough, and well done to to the 38 degree team and to all the campaigners.

  • Soconnor1955

    fantastic you see when we all stick together and voice our views what we can do .im over the moon

  • Sianflute

    FANTASTIC! Small voices together can be strong and such a power for the good.

  • Annie

    Can we do the same with the proposed changes to the NHS and get the government to rethink their lunatic proposals?

  • L1ndsay

    Congratulations to all at 38 degrees who provided the focus for us all and united our voices so that they were heard



  • Millcochris

    Its good news. Well done everyone. But remember they can still sell off 15% so lets keep watchful.

  • Jo Tomlinson

    Excellent news.

    Jo Tomlinson

  • awestruck

    Gratifying to see people power iin action. Well done 38derees for organising and the people who took part in teh protest. One note of caution: On Radio 4 this morning on Today, what I heard them say was that the gov't had “scrapped” the public consultation exercise and “shelved” the sell off plan. That may mean the sell off has only been put on the back burner.. for now. Eternal vigilence etc..

  • Derrick Holder, Bransgore.

    It's not just Trees. In the New Forest we have lowland heath and valley mire, grassland and woodland, most of which is Special Area of Conservation, designated under the European Commission’s Habitats Directive and, as I understand it, outside the jurisdiction of the U.K. Government. Hopefully it is now safe. Well done, everyone who helped fight the proposals.

  • Wendy Chadwick

    Fantastic!!! We did it! Well done to EVERYONE for signing….now what else can we do??!!

  • Charlesreavill

    Congratulations – so much achieved in such a short time. They barked up the wrong tree on this one.

  • Clockman

    This is great news but we need to watch our government to make sure they don't sneak something in the back door.

  • http://shysongbirdstwitterings.blogspot.com/ Jan

    Wonderful news! People power CAN work. Many thanks to 38 Degrees for harnessing that power and a huge pat on the back for every one of us who made our voices heard!

  • Rosieroger

    Warmest congratulations! Maybe a true democracy is on the horizon!

  • Asa4655

    Great news its about time we won something worthwhile, people together can change things for the better, keep up the good work.

  • John Mac

    What I found brilliant about the campaign is that no matter what age,race, class, profession etc etc etc everyone united together, not only for us of the present generation – but future generation's,too.

    John Mac

  • Asa4655

    Help get us out of the EU, and start another campaign, until they give us what they promised before the election.
    anyone interested ?

  • Philgrace Tucker

    excellant – now how about vodaphone paying it's tax

  • Grumpy-ian

    Well, I NEVER sign petitions, believing that it is a half-hearted way of claiming to be involved in an issue without really doing anything. Many thanks, however to my friend Sonjie for forwarding your mailing. As a (previously) longtime member of the Woodland Trust, I was shocked by what is going on in your country (I have been living and working in France for the last 28 years!) and am now delighted that our combined, small efforts have won this round.
    However, please beware of what politicians may say… and NEVER believe a word of it!
    Kind regards,
    Ian BAILEY

  • Richardnorman

    Congratulations to 38 Degrees for spearheading the campaign and giving it a focus. Of course 'eternal vigilance' and all that, but this is undeniably a great success.

  • Jbottery

    The best news. It really is worth saying NO to bad ideas! Many thanks for pulling it all together

  • Byron

    Hooray for 38 Degrees!

    (And hooray for public repentance from a politician too: http://www.guardian.co.uk/envi…. Pity that Clegg and Cameron didn't join her in this.)

  • Edward

    Lets be careful of over joy, the government is still going ahead with the Public Bodies Act that could see the Forestry commission itself being sold off!

  • A-mcclean

    Wonderful u turn. Great that 38 degrees got it all together.

  • Jake

    Anyone know if the Forrestry Commission is rescinding the redundancy plans?

  • Ben Middleton

    This is a great result but folks we still need to be vigilant as the Forestry Commission are facing deep cuts, which will seriously impact the health and well-being of our public forests. If we truly want to save our forests we have to ensure we retain the skills, knowledge and expertise which contribute so much to making our forests the beautiful, healthy and publicly-accessible places we cherish. Hands off our forests AND our Foresters, Scientists and other specialist workers.

  • Alistair754

    Congratultions to everyone involved just show what people power can do, whats next!

  • Alan Walton9

    this proves to the doubters that the power of petition does work

  • Ianhutchings65

    I am so pleased the government has seen sense. but the fight is not over. everyone who took part in this should be proud, and the organisers, well thanks to them especially, but don't take your eye off the ball. make them guarantee the safety of our woodlands, their environments, and their biodiversity. power to the people!

  • Bill

    great news the future needs our care and protection
    The battle isnt over yet the government can still legally sell off 15% of forestry commission land every 4 years. This needs to be stopped

  • Maureen Douglas

    Well done. you made our voices heard. the people have spoken!!

  • Billtec216

    At last people are waking up to the power we have with the internet and instant communication, this is what governments have feared for a long time. It proves democracy can be made to work if we put the effort in.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TKSCQMQD73ADUWZZPEUAHKG23U Sparkle555_2000

    Well done to all democracy heroes! This proves that if hundreds of thousands of people work together towards a shared goal, a lot of change can be achieved! :D

  • Simon_skydive

    Excellent news! However, as fantastic news it is, be aware, they'll no doubt come up with some other ludicrous idea, then back track on that one to try and win public favour. Whatever their underlying reasons were behind this waste of public money; whether it was a genuine attempt to try and tarmac the woods and forests or just a pathetic attempt to persuade the electorate that they listen to public opinion, the main reason is that they're not getting away with it, thanks to everyone's solidarity. Well done everyone!

  • John Dee

    I agree. Cautiously welcome this news, but, when any one cuts a tree down, they do it a little bit at a time. Chop, Chop, Chop. Lots of little cuts, and down comes the tree. The people who were lined up to buy this forestry will still be interested… a lot of land on the market at the same time, the price might just be lower. Eyes wide open, people, watch for falling trees.

  • Simon_skydive

    Oops forgot; well done to David, Hannah, Johnny and the 38 Degrees team; you started this!

  • ALS

    This is brilliant news! It could be the start of people re-engaging with politics! Apathy no more!

  • Graham

    Thank you 38 Degrees and all who supported her I can't tell you how happy I am about this news. Congratulations. One down – lost count how many to go but it is achievable

  • Georgina Noble

    Absolutely great news. Thankyou for getting the petition going and for all your other good work. Our forests are our inheritance, also critical to our planet. WELL DONE TO YOU ALL

  • Eileen Smythe

    Tony – my thoughts exactly. Was it a smoke screen for a more damaging project – HS2, NHS, NHS Direct, the Youth Service etc, etc, etc

  • Eileen Smythe

    FAN TA STICK. WUN DER FUL. Now for the STOP HS2 CAMPAIGN and the £30 BILLION saving that would achieve to fund our vulnerable front-line services.

  • Eileen Smythe

    15% – that's a lot of forest. Should we start a petition now to pre-empt any back-door, sneaky sell offs?

  • Bigpeter53

    Great result. It just shows if enough people object to something and stick together many things can be achieved.Fantastic outcome

  • Marieanthony

    Power to the People!!! Well Done 38 Degrees and everyone who signed the petition – we have proved it can work!

  • JACK

    Congratulations 38 Degrees. Without your efforts our forests would have dwindled away in the same way as we lost our green belts. We elect the government to represent us NOT to go against our wishes with their own plans to save money and avoid responsibility..

  • Genefoad

    “Speak softly and carry a big stick!” Just as well we STILL now have the freedom to collect our “sticks”
    and campaign peaceably – and WIN! Well done campaigners and common sense. Gene Foad.

  • Pattipoo4

    All of us that signed the petition and those that put it together in the first place deserve a pat on the back…. we could all have ignored the plea to add our name to the petition but we didn't we banded together because we believed in this fight and together we won….. long may the forests and woods remain ours…..

  • Maurice

    Many thanks 38 Degrees Team. At last you have caused a government to listen to its electors instead of exerting it's “power” to it's own advantage.

  • Jennie

    Fantastic news! Thank you 38 degrees and everyone who joined in to make our voices heard.
    Happy and celebrating in the woods tonight! Cheers!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jackie-Butterfield/770227066 Jackie Butterfield

    good to see us Brits standing up for what we beleive in well done everyone

  • Les Burrows

    This is a huge victory over those who know the price of everything and the value for nothing. The proponents of and apologists for this policy have been exposed as having failed as guardians of our heritage. They should hang their heads in shame. David Cameron – on the subject of the 'Big Society' – our petition signatures are the writing on the wall. Take heed.

  • Sally

    Well done to the 38 degrees team who helped get this amazing result – celebrations are certainly in order – now to enjoy OUR woods again!

  • Lynn

    Thanks so much to 38 degrees for organising the petition – fantastic news today – and it shows that the goverment will listen and it's worth speaking out x

  • Les

    Superb! Or local MP, Robin Walker voted FOR the sale! He won't be getting my vote any time soon. -Well done 38 degrees,

  • Miguel

    We did it! I am so happy for that. It was nice to make it with you from Spain. Cheers people and forest in UK!
    Next idea for 38 Degrees: to make politicians in Spain here the voice of the people too ;)

  • Janksmith

    Thanks to everyone for respect for the wild areas we have now and for saving them for future generations.A truly sweet moment!

    Janet Smith

  • John Mac

    Well said Les! John Mac

  • Roger Bell

    Well done one everyone. People 1 Goverment 0! Keep up the good work.

  • Lyn Western

    Nor mine, Owen Paterson N. Shropshire

  • Allenvalleyrs

    Great news, well done to everyone.

    J Watson

  • Sheila pettett

    I still feel mad that my MP voted to sell the forests though, maybe he will listen to the people in future. I can take my poster out of the back of the car now but need another one saying hooray WE won!!

  • Erik

    We must keep an eye on the goverment they are not to be trusted and thank you to 38degrees for organising the salvation of the national forests.

  • Richardmalewicz

    The People's Forest
    Chestnuts chattering
    whispering fir
    cracking beech
    hidden creeks
    freedom to walk
    laugh, discover,sleep,eat,
    and joyfully weep
    the forest people
    now restfully sleep.

    Basil says thankyou, one happy golden retriever has not lost his wood(well he thiks it is his)

  • Elayne

    Fantastic news, well done to all at 38 Degrees. So inspiring that people power can work. Now for the NHS…

  • Ellen

    Yay! My Delamere Forest is still here! XD

  • Kalawrock

    Brilliant news! Thanks for organising the campaign. Just shows what people can do when they pull together. Maybe we can save the NHS too!

  • Martin Shiatsu

    fantastic! common sense prevails,not words we often use when talking about the government!.very well done guys thanks for giving us a voice

  • William Rendall

    Realising how how much they mean, watch out they don't rent the forests instead of selling them.Making the forests into some kind of Disneyland, and making you pay at the gate:

  • Madeleine Radford

    Congratulations to all campaigners. I see 38 degrees got a mention in the Guardian report on the forests issue. Apart from the key issue of defending the NHS from privatisation, let's nationalise land and stop speculation in our common heritage.

  • dave


  • http://www.papertigers.org/wordpress Marjorie Coughlan

    Fantastic – I almost can't believe we've done it! Thank you for getting up the petition. Now to save the libraries!

  • Vanessa Lord

    Well done everyone, what fantastic news!!! :) ))

  • Emily

    It's true. People power works. NEVER forget it. Thank you 38_Degrees for being there.

  • LF

    For we're all jolly good fellows!!

    Well done to the 38 degrees team, and thanks!

  • Valerie Carr

    Thank goodness – we did it and congratulations to everyone, esp. 38 Degrees & your brilliant organisation. Also for keeping your eye on the pulse and letting us know what's going on. Keep us posted!

  • Pamelafellows

    Hope it is the start of us being so apathetic, which has driven me mad for years. I write to MP's and everyone says it is a waste of time. But it just shows if enough people protest it can work. If not it makes me feel better anyway. Better than just complaining to each other.

  • SteveJC

    Tories, half-baked, fire-sale of Britains assets, fails.
    Some things are more importrant than money…to some of us

  • Pamelafellows

    I meant not being so apathetic. So pleased it's making my fingers go wrong

  • Mandy Creel

    I signed up for this feeling pessimistic but for the first time I can recall, our politicians have listened! How often does that happen? This is exactly the way government should work and The Coalition should be given credit for shelving this ridiculous idea. Caroline Spelman even apologised. So please stop crowing.

  • Denmbenson

    Fantastic..real proof that people power works! Now we need to stop Lansley ruining the NHS!

  • Rosemarygroves

    Brilliant!! See…the is still people power & it can work!

  • Bronny

    Thank you 38 degrees for helping to organise such an effective response. And thank you to all the groups who got involved and all the individuals who signed the petitions. What a bloody relief!
    Interesting that the “Countryside Alliance” didn't feel they could support the countryside though.

  • Tony

    Congratulations – but don't relax just yet. We can now expect the government to vindictively cut the Forestry Commisson's budget – this will have negative impacts on the good work of the commission. So watch out for a gradual decline in the quality of our forests – poorer access, less staffing, etc

  • Neenaj

    Absolutely brilliant result…thankyou for giving us general public the opportunity to give voice to our opinions.

  • Michael Connors

    Justice has been done .The Goverment had to liston to us. Congratulations to all that supported this very important cause well done…

  • Maryanslow

    Brilliant – really support the way this was put together and proud to be part of it.

  • John Mac

    You hit it right on the nail Bronny but no doubt the Countryside Allience will find a 'Porky Pie' to justify their argument!

    Jihn Mac

  • Thehouldsworths

    Well done to 38 Degrees and every person who was involved in the campaign!

    We still need to be on forest watch, ensure that they don't come back with another approuch, as they deffinitely will not be happy that the people stopped a privatisation programme and no doubt will try again another way. Remember public its ours, private its theirs.

  • Diane

    Well Done 38 Degrees and all the other organisations who put themselves out there to save the woodlands and forests which are OUR NATIONAL HERITAGE!!! It would have been nothing less than immoral to sell them – they belong to ALL generations, not just to this one. Well done to all who added their names to the fight .. me too :-) . Go celebrate! We all did a good thing here!

  • Mjsomerville

    Congratulations to all who signed up and to 38 degrees

  • Angela

    Brilliant result; we CAN make a difference!

  • Andy42

    Brilliant, well done to everyone involved,the “little man” does count after all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • JudithH

    The first time in my life I feel my protest along with so many others, has been heard – and acted upon – WELL DONE EVERYONE!

  • Trish Cunnison

    Well done for a great outcome. As others have said, I wish we could also do something to stop the demoralising disruption & waste of resources that will result from yet more top down re-organisation of the NHS – just what the Tories promised wouldn't happen!

  • Joannewillis41

    we did it thanx to everyone

  • Steve:-)

    Thank you for allowing me to have the voice that I lost faith in, and was beginning to think was no longer mine to have…

  • Jayne

    Brilliant! Brilliant news:0) Thanks to everyone who took their time and made the effort to do something to save our forests :0)

  • Jackson Jo

    Amazing achievement- thanks to everyone at 38 degrees, all the other orginisations that got involved and every single person who made an effort to make their feelings known.
    I love walking in the woods especially in spring time- its lovely to know that access for everyone to enjoy is not to be denied.

  • Lorraine-mccallum

    YEEEHAAA!! Look what can be achieved with combined human effort. Well done All:-) x moving to be close to the forest:-)

  • Jantay

    I signed the petition, but now I'm wondering if I did the right thing – will this really save our forests or would they be better owned by the National Trust? What will happen when they cut back on all the FC rangers, which is what is already happening in some areas. Some areas of our forests are already uncared for or strewn with litter. Do enough people care enough to do this on a voluntary basis or is it all hot air? Perhaps we need a 'Save Our Forest Rangers' campaign now.

  • Ettaariane

    Congratulations to everyone involved in this campaign. We need a campaign now to save Britain from the Condems

  • West

    Well done! a great result! One note of caution – the potential sale of 15% of the current public forest estate under the SR10 announcement has not been mentioned. It would be helpful to get confirmation that this sale to raise £100M is also now not going ahead. For those of us working on the front line to manage forests in the SW region we are facing a proposed 50% reduction in staff numbers. This will inevitable impact on our ability to deliver exciting access and nature conservation projects. You have acheived a great victory but the battle is not yet over

  • Warren James

    The battle has been won, well done to everyone who added their voice to the campaign, but the war is not over. We need to stay vigilant to ensure that precious public landscapes are permanently protected., There are special parts of our British Isles that should never be owned, just managed or protected by the government/state for the benefit of biodiversity and future generations.

  • Dorothy Quelch

    Well done to all who took the time to vote. What an achievement.

  • Kathy in Devon

    Really thrilled that we managed to persuade government was not a good thing to do! Well done 38 Degrees for organising this campaign

  • Richard_brunt

    I signed the Petition to keep the forests open for wildlife. While many of your campaigners subscribe to the same view, they also want access to let their dogs charge about uncontrolled, ride bikes, and carry out other activities disturbing to wildlife without putting anything back or paying for the priviledge of doing so (apart from a miniscule amopunt of tax). They also irresponsibly take little regard to notices asking to keep dogs controlled in the nesting season.
    There are others who use the Forests, pay a not insignificant amount to do so, put down feed and perform management functions (under Forestry Commission Leases. These are fieldsportsmen, and contribute more to Conservation than almost all of the other bodies listed as “saving” the Forests. We shooters are shunned, but we do more for conservation than is publicised. Our parent bodies are British Association for Shooting AND Conservation, and the Countryside Alliance. Without us and farmers the counrtryside would not be as it is today, and many maor acres would have been already lost.

  • M S Boylan

    This is good new BUT there is a planning law still going through which will allow developers to build on ancient woodland – see here to sign petition against it


  • Jeanann Eevans

    at last people power is having an effect…well done David Babbs

  • Ralph/Jean


  • PiscatorRedux

    There is definitely a cause for temporary celebration, but Spelman on R4 Farming Today didnt leave me feeling that it's all over!

    Don't forget “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance”

  • JP Shaw

    Fantastic news. Well done 38 Degrees for organizing this and making it happen. Thank you. I don't believe in “selling the family silver” to fit a political whim. This has already been done with our assets such as water, railways, gas, electricity etc. and it hasn't worked. At least the idiot who dreamed up this insane idea has had the courage to make the “u turn” and stand up in Parliament and apologise! Although I suspect that even as I Blog, devious little minds are scheaming and plotting to find a way to sell off the very land of our country, quietly via the back door. WE MUST REMAIN VIGILANT. If you hear anything to this end, e-mail me and I will gladly sign petitions, spread the word etc. again.
    Paul S.



  • Waynedlawrence

    I just hope that the government don't now resort to the old “salami” tactics trick – a slice here & a slice there. I've just heard that Stang Forest on the Yorkshire/Durham border was sold-off last week.

  • Margaret Pelling

    Congratulations to all concerned on progress so far. But could we also support urban trees, which are under threat on a daily basis? The `urban forest' is equally vital to the nation's well being.

  • Jude Garlick

    best news since the awful election results, from a Brit living in Oz

  • Julie

    It's great news and proves that if people unite for these causes they can be won. I hope in the future this continues as the possibilities are endless. Well done everyone x x x

  • Paulamcgarry

    I agree with you JP Shaw. I also congratulate those who helped stop the Government in yet another pointless sell-off, unless, of course the government have hidden agendas which are not clear to us. People power really does work, let's not forget it. With only 20% of the vote Cameron and his coalition have conveniently forgotten their manifesto promises and created an even wider gulf between the haves and have nots.

  • Paulamcgarry

    Yes Tony I had noticed that vindictiveness seems to come with politics, we must be vigilant as they will almost certainly find some other way of depriving us of enjoying our forests.

  • Paulamcgarry

    LIke your poem Richard, Suzy also thinks the forests and woodland all belongs to her…

  • Annie

    Hurrah to people power. Never let it be said that one person can't make a difference!
    Thanks everyone. Get out & enjoy the forests…

  • Sandrademar

    Hooray the Forests are ours..

    Save urban Trees…..

    Save our Post Offices…..

    Tax the Bankers…..

  • Jerry

    Excellent! One small step heralds many bolder steps forward for other significant issues in our country e.g. the NHS for all & good state education for ALL & not just the rich elitist class-conscious minority. People of Britain please unite today to ensure a fair system of social mobility & opportunity for ALL our youth. They are the future of Britain- all they need is opportunity in the form of inspirational education, jobs relevant to their skills ,proper housing & a good state NHS. The current revolts in the Arab world can teach us Brits something valuable- lets rid ourselves of APATHY – we have NOTHING to lose & EVERYTHING to gain.The elite rich ruling class in Britain is insidiously consolidating its power base to ensure their continued unfair domination over the poor majority. Do not be deceived by political chicanery. Lets peel our eyes away from mind bending propaganda ( the media, false sense of comfort, the bright lights of the TV, large corporate shopping centres ) & start thinking independently for once. We have nothing to lose but our chains.

  • R A Ayres

    I agree. This is just like ALL Tory promises they never appear to be what they purport to be.
    We should STILL be very vigilant and keep an eye on the back door as well as the front!
    Rich Ayres

  • Tim Bendix

    As a Scout Association acivities instructor I am absolutely delighted by the combined efforts of 38 degrees and it's contributors to the campaign.

  • Bwalden

    Many areas of the UK are becoming increasingly densely populated with garden sizes shrinking year by year – we must protect all recreational woodland and heathland and coastal areas and even create more. I saw the excellent work done by the Forestry Commission in the Forest of Dean so why scrap something that works – reasonable car parking charges and timber management should make it pay its way but many would be prepared to pay a small additional tax to ensure liquidity. We need these quiet forests for escape and our sanity in this mad world.

  • Bucklandhoby

    Wonderful news! Thanks to 38 Degrees and you other half-a-million! Rightly a robust campaign – and 'robust' is from the Latin for 'Oak'. But we need to be vigilant..what will they try to slip through next?

  • Michael

    Great news but you are right to urge caution. Ms Spellman refused to say the policy was wrong when pushed very hard to do so on PM. The editor of the Spectator was still claiming the policy was right and merely badly presented. The autumn review could well lead to some very similar outcome as these proposals- need to watch who takes part. The Country Landowners Association seem to think the original proposals were a good thing
    Also the review of planning policy, consultation finishes in 10 days, needs to be remembered- have your say if you can to ask for more not less protection for forests and other important habitats and landscapes BUT do it quickly. Localism may sound great but on nationally important issues like this it can miss the big picture.

  • Anna

    Maybe the next campaign could be the plans to cull woodland creatures, namely badgers?

  • Mandy Creel

    Come on Jerry. Your immature leftist polemic discredits the efforts of 38 Degrees. I can't imagine that many moderate people who signed up to this petition would wish to be associated with your absurd extreme views. We should just celebrate a victory for common sense and welcome the fact that the Coalition has shelved the policy. Caroline Spellman has even apologised! A conciliatory government that responds to the wishes moderate people is what we're all looking for. Please seek help for your envy and hatred.

  • zelig

    Great news but this is only the beginning. We now need to act to prevent Andrew Lansley's health bill, which will effectively privatise the NHS.

  • Gordon Benson

    Briliant news. You guys at 38 Degrees should be very, very proud of yourselves. We all owe you deep gratitude–not just those of us who got involved but the entire population, posterity too. Thank you.

    Gordon Benson.

  • Dennis Patriuck

    This was a stupid idea in many ways but it was a discussion document andf not a foregone conclusion. However i9t was good to know that the people have a voice and, unlike the previous government were not there to be ignored. perhaps the “Big Society” doe mean that ordinary folk will be allowed tio have their say in future?

  • Anne_lewisuk

    Amazing result………people power !!!!

  • Ian Castle

    Thank you for enpowering so many people

  • El Ris Fo

    As Prince Far I once sang “Quante Jubilia, the best Sounds in Town.”

    Off to the woods for quiet reflection and thanks to The One Eye Love.

    Well Done One and All.

  • Ariane Lawson

    We can breath a little longer…… ! Wonderful to see how our voices were heard!

  • Meriel Colbert-Owen

    Whilst this is wonderful…….Does anyone think REALLY….this was set up… save our forests vs save our services for vulnerable people?? hmmm…lulling us all into this false sense of security whilst blatantly ripping peoples lives apart…and I am not cynical usually described as an eternal optimist :-( (

  • Penny the Poet

    Now don't get complacent, the price of wood pulp is rising and logging could make fast bucks if the sell-off plans were resurrected. Maybe we should be pushing for preservation for perpituity while the government is still licking its wounds. Any thoughts
    Penny the Poet

  • Jerry

    Come on Mandy, you should seek help for your apathy & misguided false sense of middle England comfort. I am neither of your mistaken adjectives but merely an observant reflector of British political undercurrent. We should all act before it is too late. By the way this government was only “conciliatory” on the forest issue because many Tory ministers themselves protested amongst many celebrated film stars against the proposed forest sale. Wake up!

  • Jerry

    Yes ; you've a good point there Meriel. This may be an insidious establishment conspiracy spoof/smokescreen to distract our attention & allow the common people to bask in a “warm” victory glow whilst destroying our NHS, schools & emergency services through massive cuts.

  • ostler

    Delighted! A traversty averted for a while whilst others continue to go unheeded……

  • hellsbloodybells

    Firstly, congratulations to 38 Degrees, and all those other people who got involved in this. This seems to have been a badly thought out, badly presented policy which deserved to get the boot. Next steps?; we need to stop the equally badly thought-out NHS reforms, tackling the culture of tax evasion and tax avoidance, and we need the banks to pay for the damage they've done, and be brought to heel.
    Is Britain run for the sake of the banking sector, or for the population as a whole?

  • Jerry

    Yes; it's good to read your excellent comment. You're correct in stating that other equally important issues about Britain's infrastructure e.g. the NHS ( & schools & emergency services )need the same degree of focus & passion to protest at dangerous & unjust cuts. Likewise our attention should also be drawn towards the tax avoidance/evasion culture of rich political individuals within the unelected ConDem coalition & large corporate financial giants. Sadly whilst Britain is currently one of the world's financial hubs & does not manufacture cheap goods as much as other developing nations; the British government will align itself with the powerful banks rather than supporting the population as a whole. This is why we Brits really need to wake up from our apathetic slumber , grasp the mantle, stop being lemmings & begin a mass campaign of protest. We have to be more controversial. History has taught us that without controversy the quality of life for the common people will stagnate & even deteriorate. The women's suffragette movement in Britain in the early 20th century which won the right of British women to vote was controversial at the time, but the courage of the campaigning women was admirable & justified & they won the voting rights for women today. I fully admire the stark fearlessness & total lack of apathy, passionately displayed by thousands of Arabs in their troubled regions as we speak. The recent revolution in Egypt has demonstrated that unity & passion by the populace prevails over injustice of the corrupt ruling elite.

  • Mrad

    This is good news .. however This is all well and good but we really are being spun hear, its all a little to easy, the real test will be the banks and the NHS and they wont backtrack on this so readily. If people are spurred on to further action in the other campaigns that will be great.

  • Mrad

    A conciliatory government that responds to the wishes moderate people is what we're all looking for? really. Please seek help for your Naivety .

  • lobster52

    In Scotland the Forestry Commission Scotland have been trying to sell of what they consider unprofitable forests for some time. In the first case they must offer them to the local community. Funding from Big Lottery has stopped with the Olympics draining the pot and it is increasingly difficult to find the cash. Options for leasing have recently been approved but we don't really know the ramifications of that as it is still being worked out. Community buyouts have been very successful in Scotland protecting both jobs and the environment. To see what we do and where you can support one such community buy out visit http://www.aigasforest.org.uk It may herald a more sustainable approach to the future of Englands Forests. Large forests run commercially by the Forestry Commission and small ones that drain resources from the Forestry Commission being owned and managed by the Communities that enjoy them.

  • Aaronjbliss

    38 degrees is a light at the end of a pitch black tunnel right now. Everyone who joined this cause should be proud that they have stood together and won a great victory for the common good. Next stop saving the NHS from the lobbying of avaricious private health providers!

  • Geoff_boothside

    I am very pleased that the Government saw sense and revoked ttheir consultations and proposals for the very few publicly owned forests and woodlands; it was a communications cock-up to say the least. Everybody should remember that the their proposals did include protection for public access etc and that the previous Government sold off some woodland in Cumbria I believe without any such protection resulting in much diminished public access. This Coalition Government turnaround doesn't mean the the Forestry Commission doesn't need sorting out.

  • Rachel

    Whilst it is great to hear that the sales have been called off, it will be interesting to see who is on the independent panel that will look at the future of forests. Hopefully campaigning groups like 38 degrees and Save Our Woods will be invited to take part, alongside grassroots forestry commission staff. If the independent panel excludes camapigners and the grassroots FC staff, and meets only behind closed doors, I am afraid that we will simply find that the forests are sold off sneakily behind our backs once the media glare has died down! Remember that 15% of forests can still be sold every 4 years, and that the FC is facing 30% staff cuts despite the fact that it has been independently assessed as being a super efficient organisation! No one in government has yet given any good reason why the FC should be dismantled, and there are clearly massive benefits to having the whole forest estate managed by the one agency, using commercial timber sales to subsidise the recreational facilities, wildlife management etc. The FC may not be perfect but there is no reason to meddle with it – leave the FC alone!!

  • Geoff_boothside

    The NHS is one of the jewels in the public crown. This doesn't mean that it is a hands off, fault free organisation. One only has to look without pink tinged spectacles at the money wasted on managers within the hospitals and the PCTs, the recent exposure of poor care of our elderly in some of the hospitals and the money wasted in non-joined up equipment and medical supplies procurement. So perhaps the Coalition Government proposals will result in better NHS services funded by the savings of the present wastes. But then again, like many other subscribers to this web site and others including newspapers and the broadcast media, what do I really know. Not a lot I think, only opinions and presumptions.

  • Geoff_boothside

    I have been reading many of the comments listed below. It seems that a number of the contributers are politically motivated and I wouldn't be at all surprised if it turned out that they had never visited a woodland in their lives but have jumped on this excellent bandwagon to grind their particular political axe. For goodness sake why can't you lefties accept that the majority of people voted to dismiss Gordan Brown..I suppose you wouldn't have much to say against a Lab/Lib coalition. For our Australian correspondent, our PM didn't stab his predecessor in the back.

  • Andrew A

    I am afraid that Mr Boothside is allowing his (political) prejudice to show. As someone who uses woodland for a range of recreational purposes (walking, biking, birdwatching, wildlife photography etc), I can honestly say that I have no political motive in opposing the sell-off. The sell-off made no environmental or economic sense and was an ideological, dogmatic action (probably by people who already own woodlands of their own for tax purposes); whether or not the vast number of individuals who opposed the sell off actually use the forests is immaterial (can we have an opinion on the NHS privatisation ONLY if we are ill, Mr Boothside?) Even many Tory MPs admit the idea was a lunatic one cooked up by the Minister against opposition from her own civil servants; political commentators in the media suggest it was Ms Spelman's effort to 'impress' colleagues of her right-wing credentials that led to this folly and the widespread resentment it generated. Grow up, Mr Boothside, whether you like it or not both those for the sell off and those against were 'political' in the sense that all politics is about power – unfortunately for you and others like you, that power – for once – belonged to the people.

  • John Mac

    I agree with you Andrew. No doubt many people like Mr Boothside who may not have jobs or a house of their own etc etc will be screaming for their football teams to do well today! We all have our individual battles that we feel is worth fighting for and whatever ones politics are 38 Degrees must be given credit for the fight and organisation they put together and did not JUST complain.
    John Mac

  • Doug

    NO!!! We have not stopped the sell off of the Forests. They are being sold off at lots of 15%.

    Do not believe a word they say.


  • http://versuspredator.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/seeing-the-wood-and-the-trees/ Seeing the wood and the trees « versuspredator

    [...] the clicktivists helped to provoke a U-turn on the UK coalition’s plans to allow the complete privatisation of [...]

  • Cbwilce

    A great victory.
    Now we need to get this coalition to change its mind about the depth and severity of cuts.
    This is really going to hurt lower and middle income families and will be sociably more damaging than what would happen to our beautiful forests.

    The redundancies haven’t started yet and I don’t want to be part of broken Britain, a broken society!!

  • P T Wilkinson

    This is a brilliant success. Well done!
    But now there is an even bigger problem – Lansley's plans to reorganise the NHS.
    I think it is urgent to oppose these plans but I do not know of any co-ordinated action..
    Does 38Degrees intend to campaign against the proposals?
    Peter Wilkinson

  • http://www.savethorpewoodlands.blogspot.com John Allaway

    Fantastic campaigning! Huge congratulations to all concerned.

    If anyone wants to see an example of what could have happened to FC woods if they'd been sold, please look at our blog: http://savethorpewoodlands.com In this case, the 200+ acre woods are privately owned and the owners want to build a housing estate on them – despite them being county wildlife sites and habitat for several rare species including some found at no other sites in Norfolk.

    Best wishes from Friends of Thorpe Woodlands

  • http://savethorpewoodlands.blogspot.com John Allaway

    Sorry, I made a mistake when writing the address for Save Thorpe Woodlands blog in the comment below. It should be:-



  • http://www.childlosesarm.co.uk/2011/02/21/we-have-won/ Child Loses Arm

    [...] the 38 Degrees Website or Facebook for more info, or to share your [...]

  • http://fourleafcloverblog.com/?p=1840 Four Leaf Clover » People power lead to change

    [...] sell off their forests as part of a budget-cut. I’ve already got some amazing news for you: they dropped their plans! The efforts of the organization 38 Degrees along with many others showed the government that [...]

  • http://blog.bosinver.co.uk/2011/02/victory-for-the-save-our-forests-campaign/ Victory for the ‘Save Our Forests’ Campaign! | Bosinver Farm Cottages Blog

    [...] organisations like the National Trust, Friends of the Earth and the Woodland Trust got behind the Save Our Forests campaign – by signing the petition, lobbying their MPs, organising events and spreading the word.  In [...]

  • http://ihatehate.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/government-backs-away-from-forest-sell-off-like-we-told-them-to/ Government backs away from forest sell-off, like we told them to « I HATE HATE!!!

    [...] you like to witness or indulge in self-congratulation, you can get a hit of the good stuff at the 38 Degrees site; or, if you’re a Facebooker, you can check out their [...]

  • Ms Annie

    Thanks 38 Degrees for being there when I really needed to make my views known re Our Forests. Your website was easy to find and use. For the 1st ever I forwarded your info to my family to enable them to respond. This is certainly POWER TO THE PEOPLE and we showed our common sense and common purpose as a community. Again many thanks. Margaret S.

  • Shelaghkemp

    If only folks knew that people power really get's things done. Perhaps now everyone will have their say. My friend said it was all cut & dried and we could do nothing about it. Wrong. Everyone aught to be very pleased. Shelagh Kemp

  • Si_W

    OK, so you helped stop the sale of 3.6% of English forests. Yep, 3.6%. Well done. That's the 20% of the 18% in Forestry Commission ownership. Where were you when Labour sold off 25,000 acres? Not as much as was mooted here, but still, I thought you were against forestry sell-offs?

    Still, you can all be proud that 82% of England's forests are already in private hands including the National Trust and the Sherwood Forest Trust amongst others. Private ownership is bad? Do some research.

  • John Mac

    Get back on your armchair with a cup of tea!

  • Si_W

    I'll do just that if you answer my question satisfactorily.

    Why was it so bad to sell 3.6% of England's forest tot he private sector, which includes the National Trust, when 82% is already in the provate sector?

  • John Mac

    Playing with statistics did not win the battle for our forests – it was people from all classes protesting out in the countryside in all weathers!


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=627263153 Carol Simms

    Just to say well done- I have had 2 replies from my MP Caroline Spelman who thanked me for taking part and updated me today with whats going to be done now- from the House of Commons..
    Personal emails do count so everyone keep up the good work

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=627263153 Carol Simms

    do some research you say- well where to start – let us know then…

  • John Mac

    Well done the 'armchair expert' needs told the facts. Good luck.

  • England or Bust

    I have made a comment some days ago – I would like to know what we are doing with the rest of the stuff that is coming ie NHS and so on. I feel sad that no one seems to care what is happening to England can they just keep doing things to us and say it's for the good of the country – if they keep it up there will be no country. I think I must be the only person in England that is worrying about these things.

  • John Mac

    I think that you are kidding yourself on by your comment that you are the only person in England who cares bla bla.Nothing happens overnight and at least the protests by the people on our countryside shows that people of all clases and professions care about their country and did someting about it! Lets hope the next battles are with major injustices.but please don't kid yourself on that you are a Fidel Castro! WE ALL CARE ABOUT OUR COUNTRY!!!

  • Greg

    Got a letter from my MP today as a follow up to the emails I sent via 38_degrees. Although he’s a Conservative, and voted for the sell off, he writes about the government “I am pleased that they have now changed tack”.

  • England or Bust

    Your opinion is based on a pre-supposed supposition, ever thought your supposition may be incorrect. I am not a Fidel Castro, nor am I a John The Baptist. I put my money where my mouth is as my age and health does not allow me the luxury of protesting in person. I am a very worried English person who uses the only thing I have left to use, my voice. Next time you use “Bla, Bla” I would ask you to think about it. Lets hope David Cameron is right and that we are all in this together!

  • http://some.randomhash.net/38d/stop-the-gas-and-electricity-rip-off:02110516.39 @somerandomhash » Stop the gas and electricity rip-off

    [...] change happen through 38 Degrees, our reward is making the world a better place – knowing that we have helped protect our woodlands or our health service, or that we’ve stood up to the power of Rupert [...]

  • http://www.chilternvoice.co.uk/2011/09/21/our-english-countryside-under-threat-again/ Our English Countryside Under Threat Again – Chiltern Voice

    [...] building’. A massive people-powered petition may make the government think again. It worked to stop England’s forests being sold off. It could work again to stop precious countryside being wrecked by bulldozers and [...]

  • http://www.beyondgreen.co.uk/news/2012/05/23/seeing-the-wood-for-the-trees-joanna-yarrow-at-the-royal-forestry-society-annual-conference/ Seeing the wood for the trees? Joanna Yarrow at the Royal Forestry Society Annual conference « « Beyond Green Beyond Green

    [...] last thought: if forests are as important to the whole nation as last year’s uprising against the government’s proposals to sell of national forests suggested, it would be great if [...]

  • http://www.rawtreecare.co.uk/2012/06/benefits-of-trees-in-the-urban-environment/ Benefits of Trees in the Urban Environment | RAW Tree Care

    [...] 38 Degrees – Government To Scrap Plans To Sell Our Forests [...]

  • http://theenvironmentalism.com/one-nation-environmentalism One Nation Environmentalism? | The Environmentalism

    [...] groups (the National Trust recently gained its 4 millionth member) to the public’s impassioned defence of our national forests from privatisation. When YouGov polled the public on the eve of the Diamond [...]

  • http://wilsonrichard.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/38-degrees-local-nhs-petition/ 38 Degrees Local NHS Petition « Red Sky At Night

    [...] many people, I first heard of 38 Degrees during the campaign to save England’s forests from privatisation. I signed the petition which brought this issue to public attention. In the House of Commons, David [...]

  • http://earthlinesreview.org/2013/03/18/tweeting-in-the-forests/ Tweeting in the Forests – The EarthLines Review

    [...] of the outcomes of the successful battle to save England’s Public Forest Estate from a government sell-off back in 2011 was the recognition of the power of social media as a part [...]

  • http://markavery.info/2011/07/05/forests/ A walk in our woods | Mark Avery

    [...] do remember that these are our woods, and that six months ago we were greatly exercised by their future.  Back in January the emperors I saw yesterday were all larvae sitting up in sallow trees waiting [...]

  • http://optimistconsulting.co.uk/2013/09/5-things-i-liked-about-the-38-degrees-welcome-to-members-email/ 5 things I liked about the 38 Degrees welcome to members email | Optimist Consulting

    [...] They helped to stop the government’s plans to sell off our ancient national forests [...]

  • http://cyclingworks.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/legendary-campaign-group-38degrees-support-plans-for-safer-cycling-in-london/ Legendary campaign group 38degrees support plans for safer cycling in London | CyclingWorks

    [...] the leading lights in online campaigning. They now have over 2.5million members and have had many successful online campaigns. In a statement to Transport for London they said: ’38 Degrees is one [...]

  • http://cyclingworks.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/38-degrees/ Legendary campaign group 38 Degrees support plans for safer cycling in London | CyclingWorks

    [...] the leading lights in online campaigning. They now have over 2.5million members and have had many successful online campaigns. In a statement to Transport for London they said: 38 Degrees is one of the [...]

  • http://reflectionsoncampaigning.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/avaaz-38-degrees-and-direct-democracy/ Avaaz, 38 Degrees and direct democracy | Reflections on Campaigning

    [...] Avaaz and 38 Degrees et all can bridge the perceived gap between the electorate and the elected, by showing popular support or condemnation (usually the latter) for policies. They also prove that people can be engaged in politics. One example is the 38 Degrees “Save Our Forests” campaign, which attracted over 500,000 petition signatures amongst lots of other member-directed action. [...]