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Scheme aims to protect forest around Hurn
A SCHEME to protect precious forest land around Hurn has been launched following a large local campaign.
The campaign to “Save Hurn’s Forests” began in 2011 after the government proposed a sell-off of England’s publicly owned forests.
Residents and parish council leader Margaret Phipps formed a campaign group and collected a 1,700 signature-petition, which was handed to Christchurch MP Chris Chope.
But last week, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson announced forests and woodland would remain in public ownership, sparking celebrations from jubilant local groups.
Cllr Margaret Phipps said: “Here in Hurn we are absolutely delighted that the government has listened to what people want and taken notice of how highly we value our public forests.
“I believe that this is just the start of a long programme of ensuring that forests and woodlands are preserved and en-hanced to the benefit of people, wildlife and the green economy.”
The audit will review the existing species, conduct a new ecological survey for key species and then analyse the information and recommend ways to enhance certain aspects.
Cllr Phipps added: “In a survey, 81 per cent of Hurn residents supported our woodlands and it is recognised that the parish council has the important role of protecting and enhancing the environment and doing its best to ensure this part of parish life is maintained.
“Our forests are very well used and enjoyed for recreation, not only by residents but by visitors as well, for dog walking, horse riding, rambling and cycling, and I am sure that all of these users value the wildlife which lives there.
All of these elements are what make our forests so special, and why we should really look after them properly for future generations.”