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Forestry Commission

Volume 80: debated on Wednesday 12 June 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make it his policy that the Forestry Commission should consult local authorities on all occasions when grant aid or felling licences for broadleaved woods are being considered to ensure that those woodlands are correctly identified and appropriately treated.

No. The extent of consultations is a matter of agreement between the Forestry Commission and the individual local authorities.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will advise the Chairman of the Forestry Commission to review the "Broadleaves in Britain Review of Policy" so that the commission will consult the Nature Conservancy Council over felling licence and grant aid applications for all ancient woodlands as recommended in paragraph 145 of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology report on Scientific Aspects of Forestry in 1980.

No. Arrangements for consultation were agreed between the Forestry Commission and the Nature Conservancy Council in 1974 and subsequently confirmed in 1983, under the terms of a ministerial direction issued to the Forestry Commissioners. My right hon. Friend considers these arrangements to be perfectly adequate.In the context of its review of broadleaves policy, the Forestry Commission is discussing with the Nature Conservancy Council and the countryside commissions the publication of guidelines on the management of various categories of broadleaved woodlands, including ancient woodlands, which the Forestry Commission would take into account both in its own operations and in considering applications for grant-aid or felling permission from private woodland owners. This is in line with the recommendation at paragraph 145 of the Select Committee's report.