Visit: Kent, 15 – 16 September
The sun was shining on the Independent Panel on Forestry as they visited Kent on 15 and 16 September for their third Panel visit.
The visit was another great opportunity for the Panel to further explore the multi-purpose uses of forests and woods.
On previous their previous visits to the Forest of Dean and Kielder, the Panel were pleased to see some great Forestry Commission sites. On this visit the Panel took the opportunity to visit some privately owned land so they could see firsthand the issues owners face.
A woodland walk was organised on land owned by Dr Fitzwater. Dr Fitzwater shared his stories about why he became a woodland owner; his aspirations for the wood and some of the highs and lows he has encountered since buying Angley Wood.
Along the route of the walk the Panel met up with other experts who hosted discussions about woodland management (ranging across topics from timber sales to squirrel control), restoring ancient woodland, biodiversity, access and public usage.
During the visit the Panel also heard from local speakers about woodland and forestry issues relevant to Kent and the south east. This included discussions with Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) staff about small woodlands and their cultural heritage, partnership working and initiatives to engage with woodland owners, hearing about the issues surrounding woodlotting in the region and learning about the local landscape.
Despite their busy schedule, the Panel were also delighted that they had the opportunity to meet up with 38 Degrees while at Bedgebury National Pinetum. The meeting included a formal hand-over of the 34,000 ‘call for views’ responses they gathered.
The call for views was set up as the Panel wanted to understand the widest range of views, interests and expertise. They were delighted when more than 40,000 answered and made their voices heard.
Workshops have proved popular on the Panels previous visits and Kent was no exception. More than 30 representatives from local organisations came along to share their views first-hand with the Panel. Attendees included access groups, local nature societies and businesses. All the representatives invited were encouraged to draw in views from the groups and communities they represent.
- Visit 3: Stakeholder workshop key messages (pdf, 95 KB)