Fw: Forestry Commission sale of ancient woodland in high Weald

David Bangs dave.bangs at virgin.net
Thu Mar 11 13:56:45 GMT 2010

Dear friends,

You may wish to know that the Forestry Commission has almost completed the surprise privatisation of the eastern half of Sheffield Forest, known as Funnell's Wood, 1.5 miles north of Sheffield Park Gardens, between Fletching and Nutley (Ashdown Forest), map ref. TQ 43 26. 

It has done so as a result of funding cutbacks from central government. More sales of parts of the national FC estate will follow.

This gorgeous 190 acre block of public woodland is mostly an ancient woodland site, with deep mossy gills, woodcock, sheets of bluebells and some wild daffodils, with small areas of old meadow which have been planted up with oak. Much of it has an open canopy of hemlock, larch and pine, with large areas of old sweet chestnut coppice, with holly and hazel and some hornbeam coppice, old sunken lanes, and gnarled, outgrown beech and holly hedgelines. 

It is silent and tranquil, extensive and lovely. 

The land is in the High Weald AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), a designation which is equal in planning terms to that of a National Park.

This is a major loss of public land in an area which has little land in social ownership (apart from Ashdown Forest itself).

The sale has caused local anger both in itself, and for the complete lack of notice or consultation from the FC.

Dave Bangs, Tel: 01273 620 815  dave.bangs at virgin.net

for 'Action For Access - Working for a People's Countryside'

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