Perhaps my thoughts that we had saved our national forests were a bit premature. As Mark Allery points out, this was all a bit too easy and noone is quite sure what the minister means when she says she “got it wrong”. Quite possibly what she is really referring to is that it was wrong to make the plans public and attract so much attention to them.
Far better to do it on the quiet as with the sale of Rigg Wood, a 40 acre on the banks of Coniston Water which was sold last autumn for a paltry £116,ooo (or £2900 an acre). You didn’t know about it? No, neither did I. So maybe the government simply intends to sell off our landscape piecemeal once the fuss dies down.
Meanwhile, Cumbria’s forests have a new champion in the form of my own favourite, Rory Stewart. On 2 Feb Mr Stewart and Carlisle MP John Stevenson were the only MPs in the county to vote in favour of the Government policy in the House of Commons. Two weeks later and he is featured in the News and Star urging us to “keep up the fight” and “send a very firm message to ministers about what we want here in Cumbria.” I for one want an MP with integrity.