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Suffolk/Essex/UK: Woodlands to be protected by new body

PUBLISHED: 12:44 31 January 2013 | UPDATED: 12:44 31 January 2013

PROTECTED: New body will protect the region's woodlands

PROTECTED: New body will protect the region's woodlands

Archant

SUFFOLK and Essex’s forests will remain in public ownership, it has been confirmed.

Speaking today, environment secretary, Owen Paterson, said that a new independent body would be set up in the longer term to hold the nation’s forests in trust for future generations.

The Forestry Commission, which currently manages the public forest estate, would be given extra funding of £3.5m this year and an additional £2m to help the authority fight Chalara dieback of ash.

Mr Paterson said: “I want to put the future of our public forests on a clear and firm footing.”

“Our forests and woodland will remain secured in public ownership for the people who enjoy them, the businesses that depend on them and the wildlife that flourishes in them.”

Mary Creagh, shadow environment secretary, said the annoucement follows the cutting of 500 Forestry Commission staff.

Paterson’s predecessor Caroline Spelman sparked national outrage over proposals to dispose of publicly owned woodlands to businesses, communities and charities.

An independent panel was subsequently set up to examine the future of England’s woodlands.

The panel’s said in July that the public forest estate costs the taxpayer about £20m a year – around 90p per household in England – but paid back an estimated £400m in benefits to people, nature and the economy. It also recommended that the country’s wooded area should be expanded to 15%.

Mr Paterson has said he wants to see the amount grow from 10% now to 12% in 2060.

There’s a problem when it comes to men and mental health. It’s not that men’s mental health is any worse than women’s mental health. It’s just that men are not so good in talking about it and, crucially, seeking help. That could be one of the reasons behind the shocking statistic that three out of every four suicides are men.

The Orwell Bridge is expected to close for the third time this winter as high winds are forecast again on Wednesday night.

Essex Wildlife Trust has responded to reports that a black panther has been sighted in a rural village in the county.

Feeling safe on the streets, career prospects and retirement plans are among the top concerns for women in Suffolk and Essex, a survey reveals.

Proposals to build a new multi-million pound rail depot on the Suffolk/Essex border at Brantham near Manningtree are being reconsidered by Greater Anglia.

A mentally-ill Bury St Edmunds man accused of killing a 57-year-old man by stabbing him multiple times has admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

A crash between a van and a car this morning has closed a rural Suffolk road.

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