The curious case of the Dartmoor Forest Plan has just become more curious

On the 17th June I wrote a piece about the Forestry Commission’s plans for their Estate on Dartmoor entitled ‘The curious case of the Dartmoor Forest Plan’ – see here. In essence their plans set out the FC’s actions up to 2046. Greater thought will be given to wildlife and archaeology, access will be encouraged  but the primary plans centre on the Forests as places where commercial timber will be grown predominantly from conifer crops. There is a small increase of broadleaved species especially around the edges and there is a diversification of the species of conifer that will be planted.

Under conifers

According to the FC website a consultation had been held on their proposals and this had ended on the 1st April this year. Most of the comments received appeared to be minor comments about the detail of what was proposed and there seemed to be no comments actually challenging the principle of re-planting conifers at all. A number of key organisations such as the Dartmoor Preservation Association or the Dartmoor Society appeared not to have commented at all.

The consultation had been a very low profile affair, belatedly the media picked up the story following the publication of my blog and Kate Ashbrook General Secretary of the Open Spaces Society gave an interview on BBC Radio Devon – listen here 1 hour 59 minutes in calling for a debate on a wider options for the future.

Now here comes the even more curious bit, a lady called Jan Corlett had read my blog and heard Kate on the radio and wanted to comment on the plans, she contacted the Forestry Commission and was told that the consultation was still on-going although the FC website is showing that it has closed – see here. Good work Jan and thanks for letting me know.

The consultation on the Dartmoor Forest Plan runs until the 25th July (according to the FC email to Jan) but on another page of the FC website it says the 19th July so if you want to comment on the plan let the FC know what you think by the 19th July. You can no longer comment via their website (the hyperlink you press just brings up a map) so instead send comments by email to adminhub.bullershill@forestry.gsi.gov.uk or write to them at Forestry Commission, West England Forest District, Haldon Forest Park, Bullers Hill, Kennford, Exeter, Devon, EX6 7XR.

I can smell a small furry rodent!

 

6 thoughts on “The curious case of the Dartmoor Forest Plan has just become more curious

  1. According to https://englandconsult.forestry.gov.uk/forest-districts/dartmoor-forest-plan/ the consultation is closed and the plan submitted, but it is now possible to make “further comments” until 19th July. No mention of 25th July anywhere.

    The ‘Key Dates’ box on that page also shows that it was open for less than one month – hardly a decent amount of time to allow people and organisations time to consult, formulate and submit detailed responses on a complex issue that will affect the landscape of the moor for many decades to come.

  2. And seeing as the consultation is officially closed, what does “further comments” actually mean, and can/will they be taken into consideration? Surely a consultation is either open or it’s not!

  3. You state that “A number of key organisations such as the Dartmoor Preservation Association or the Dartmoor Society appeared not to have commented at all.”
    The DPA did not comment because we were unaware of the consultation, having presumably been removed from the FC’s list of consultees. More interesting to see the list of NGOs who WERE given the opportunity to comment and who, according to the FC, chose not to submit a response (P56 of the Plan) including Butterfly Conservation; Duchy of Cornwall and Moor than Meets the Eye

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