What are you up to on the 20th of March? If you needed an excuse to get out riding, then this should be just the ticket. After the Government climb down on the sale of Forestry Commission land and Public Bodies Bill, Sunday has been designated ‘Celebrate Our Forests Day’.
38 Degrees is listing events country-wide where the public will be encouraged to demonstrate just how much their forests mean to them, with rambles, cycle rides, picnics and more being organised.
Although a victory was won against the Public Bodies Bill and the flawed consultation, the organisers say that campaign is not over until the Government confirms it has dropped its ambition of selling off, or transferring by another means, the people’s woodlands.
Organiser James Greenwood said: “The Forest of Dean is a great place for cyclists, gentle on families or quite testing for mountain bikers. The reason it’s so great is because of the way the Forestry Commission work with many different groups to make sure their needs are satisfied.”
“The 500 job losses in the Forestry Commission will adversely affect the management of our Forest. Currently we pay 30p each per year for our forests to be well managed for our benefit. Value for money? In many ways our continued enjoyment of our Forest is priceless.
Cyclists, walkers, dog-walkers, riders, ramblers and picnickers are encouraged to get out into the public woods and show their love for them by displaying a bit of yellow – anything will do – a bit of ribbon, tape round your handlebars – or full fancy dress if you want (and send us a photo).
The day is going to be celebration of the public Forests – and also a day in which the public can express their rights to them. It is up to us to ensure they remain in our hands, and stewarded by the Forestry Commission.
So if you like riding with the family, with friends or just taking off on your own, put Sunday March 20 in your diary and get those tyres pumped and chain oiled!
In the Forest of Dean, Hands Off Our Forest are planning A Roll In The Woods, with both morning and afternoon bike rides on two circuits – one for mountain bikers, the other for families, leaving Pedalbikeaway/ Cannop Cycle Centre.”