What a great source of optimism the announcement on the 4 July by the independent panel appointed by the government regarding the UK’s forest proved to be, with their unequivocal statement that the UK's forest should not be sold, but, "held in trust for the nation".. It only goes to underline once again how important the Friends of Thorpe woodlands fight is to try and protect over 200 acres of local woods.
The report only echoed what most of the public know and believe – that woods are good for our general wellbeing, every child should have "an element of woodland-based learning” but also that woodlands could actually help "drive a sustainable economic revival" and we should be aiming to increase England's woodland cover from 10% to 15% by 2060.
The Friends of Thorpe Woodlands have always put forward the argument that the Thorpe and Felthorpe Trust, who own these local woods, should utilise the timber by managing the trees properly and make money through harvesting renewable energy, rather than flattening these beautiful woods to build up to 800 houses, so it is great to see this panel reached the same conclusion: "We need a new culture of thinking and action around wood and woodlands," the Rt Rev Jones said in the report's foreword…."[We need] a new way of valuing and managing the natural and social capital of our woodland resource, alongside the timber they contain."
It only serves to underline the importance of Thorpe woods and how any plans to destroy them runs contrary to government policy and the interest of Norwich, Norfolk and the country as a whole.