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Forestry

Volume 229: debated on Tuesday 27 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to ensure that public access will be maintained to any forests which may be privatised.

I shall write to the hon. Member and arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his answer of 1 July to the hon. Member for Glanford and Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley), Official Report, column 611, whether the environmental policies referred to include environmental and recreational benefits in the Forestry Commission estate.

[holding answer 26 July 1993]: I shall write to my hon. Friend and arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will invite the Forestry Commission to produce a national forestry strategy combining the principles of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development with domestic forestry policy.

[holding answer 26 July 1993]: Shortly after the Earth summit, the Prime Minister announced the Government's decision to publish a national plan for the implementation of the statement of forest principles agreed at Rio. The plan will cover both domestic forestry policy and the United Kingdom's interests in forestry overseas. It is being prepared by the Forestry Commission with the assistance of the other departments whose responsibilities are affected.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what area of woodlands and forests presently owned and managed by the Forestry Commission and not designated as a site of special scientific interest or national nature reserve is subject to management for nature conservation benefits by Forestry Enterprise.

[holding answer 26 July 1993]: The Forestry Commission manages all its forests and woodlands to enhance their nature conservation value.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will list the criteria which are relevant in determining whether or not a forestry scheme requires an environmental assessment;(2) if he will instruct the forestry authority to seek environmental assessments for forestry schemes on sites adjacent to or in the vicinity of sites of special scientific interest; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 26 July 1993]: The criteria for determining whether the Forestry Commissioners should require an environmental assessment are set out in the Environmental Assessment (Afforestation) Regulations 1988, a copy of which is held in the Library.Under the regulations, the commissioners already have the power to require an environmental assessment for an afforestation scheme adjacent to or in the vicinity of sites of special scientific interest if in their view the scheme is likely to have significant adverse effects on the environment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list, by county, those forest areas in Scotland currently available for sale to the private sector.

I shall write to the hon. Member as soon as possible and arrange for a copy of my letter to be placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much Forestry Commission land has been placed on the market for sale during the past 10 years but has not in the event been sold; and what is his estimate of the value of this land.

I shall write to the hon. Member and arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Library of the House.