Loin girding gets tiring. Equanimity rather than struggling to defend something, is what suits me best. I want to meditate quietly in the forest and not have to keep defending it.
Yesterday like the half a million other people who signed their petition, I got an email from 38 degrees saying: “We’ve saved our forests! The government has just announced that they’re going to scrap the forest sell-off. Together we convinced the government that our forests should be protected for future generations, not sold to the highest bidder.This is our people-powered victory. Next time someone tries to tell any of us that signing petitions or emailing our MPs doesn’t work, we’ll know exactly what to say: “People power does work. Just look at the Save Our Forests campaign”.
It’s fantastic news and 38 degrees did a great job rallying everyone. But a few hours later I got an email from the Woodland Trust saying: “It doesn’t end here…Whilst welcoming Government intentions to abandon plans for disposal of public forests, the campaign to protect and restore England’s ancient forests must go on.
We welcome the opportunity for a more considered approach to the future of our much loved woodlands but our campaign continues. Whilst we welcome the removal of threats to public access, there is still an acute need for better protection of Ancient Woodland, our equivalent of the rainforests, and restoration of ancient woods planted with conifers.
Even if there are no sales of publicly owned forests, the worst of all worlds would be for there to be no change to the loopholes that have allowed 850 ancient woods to be threatened by built development over the past decade. Ministers have made strong commitments over the past few weeks to increase protection for ancient woods, and we will be holding them to these commitments.
As I write, there is a proposal to water down protection for ancient woodland in the planning system. We need your help to defeat this proposal by 28th February.”
A part of me groans that we still need to keep at it to protect the trees. But before we all start ungirding ourselves let’s just add our voices to the Woodland’s Trusts campaign to close the loopholes and stop the watering-down of planning law in relation to woodland. You’ll find details here and a way – whichever country you live in – to send an automated message to Alan Scott, in the Department for Communities and Local Government, who is dealing with the planning consultation. In needs to be done before Feb 28th. And don’t think it won’t make a difference! Remember what has just been achieved precisely through getting our voices heard!
Maybe we still need Jamie Reid’s picture after all – here shown in a new version (graffitied by us) for Goddess lovers: