Cyclists add to momentum against government plan to privatise forests

photo Quench Cycles
The Alice Holt Forest Park near Farnham in Surrey in popular with families

Plans by the Government to sell off England’s nationally owned forests are being strongly opposed by many concerned about threats to access, including to some of the country's best off-road cycling trails.

Nearly half a million people have already signed a petition organised by campaiging organisation 38 Degrees calling for the sale of 1000 square miles of public forest to be halted.

Government assurances that access would be guaranteed even if the land ends up in private hands were dealt a blow when it was revealed that at least 15% of the forests for sale would not be covered by these access assurances.

Furthermore, a leaked Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs cost-benefit analysis has shown that the profits from the sales are likely to be negligible.

LCC's Mike Cavenett said, "Many London cyclists, including families, make regular use of Forestry Commission land for leisure cycling.

"The government should be encouraging more active and healthier lifestyles, not restricting access to our forests."