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Volume 164: debated on Friday 12 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to develop forests as a tourist resource in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Welsh forests already provide a substantial tourist resource. Most of those managed by the Forestry Commission are open to the public and attract millions of visits a year. They offer a variety of recreational facilities such as visitor centres, forest walks and picnic places, as well as opportunities for specialist pursuits ranging from horse riding to orienteering. The commission also promotes camping and caravanning holidays to both home and overseas markets and co-operates with tourist boards on a range of initiatives.A growing number of private forests are open to the public, and applicants under the commission's woodland grant scheme are required to take into account the recreational potential of new woodlands.