A walk in the woods is one of life's simple pleasures.
We would like to see more woodland opened up for walkers to enjoy.
The Ramblers rallied together to save our woodland walks from Government plans to sell off England's Forestry Commission.
We are now pushing Government to ensure that everyone has a woodland close to them that they can walk and play in.
A walk in the woods is one of life’s simple pleasures. Forests are magical diverse habitats that evoke childhood memories of Enid Blyton novels and teddy bear picnics. The importance of woodland was shown by the huge uproar at Government plans to sell off England’s public forests in February 2011.
The Government set up an Independent Panel to look at the future of forestry in England. The Independent Panel put forward their final report to Government in July and said that they think access to woodland should be “the norm” for everyone. Government are now looking at the panel's report and are due to publish their plans for taking it forward in January. We are urging them to take forward all of the Panel's recommendations and to come up with clear plans to increase the amount of woodland open for walkers.
We have worked with other user groups (including horse-riders, cyclists and husky sledgers) to make sure that people enjoying woodland is a key part of all forestry policy.
Together, we’ve rallied and presented Forestry Panel members with saplings bearing messages. We’re now lobbying Government for clear plans to increase the amount of woodland that people can walk in.
Currently the public in England and Wales have the right to walk in nearly all (90%) of Forestry Commission owned woodland, which makes up 18% of all woodland in England. But, the public can only enjoy an estimated 30% of other woodland.
The public forest estates in Wales and Scotland are under the control of the devolved assemblies but still managed by the Forestry Commission.
Walkers in Scotland have a statutory right of access to almost all land, including forestry and woodlands, through the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, which made Scotland one of the most walker-friendly countries in Europe. Access rights also apply to cyclists and horseriders.
The Welsh Assembly has pledged to maintain Wales’s 126,000 hectares under public ownership. Walkers in Wales have the right to enjoy most Forestry Commission woodland, but have the same limitations in enjoying private woodland that walkers in England do.
Our vision is for people to be able to walk in all woodland in Great Britain.
By making a donation you can help us continue to campaign on behalf of walkers.
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12% of the UK is covered by woodland, compared to 37% of Europe.
Read the latest news on this campaign and others.
Find out more about how we'd like more woodland opened up for walkers.