Who should own and manage our woodlands, waterways and green spaces? Our responses to this question seems to depend on which bit of our environment we are talking about, and who we think will be the likely beneficiaries. Last year Defra’s consultation on the transfer of our canals and waterways to a new charity had a relatively smooth passage through the court of public opinion, resulting in the creation of the Canal and River Trust in July. In contrast proposals to ‘sell off’ our woodlands to a mixture of private and charitable organisations raised such a storm of outrage that the consultation was withdrawn. An Independent Panel was hurriedly convened to consider the future of our forests. Meanwhile recent work by GreenSpace on the impact of the comprehensive spending review shows that local authorities report that budgets for managing green spaces face cuts proportionately greater than their overall budget reductions. … (To read the full article, subscribe below)
Mark Walton is the director of Shared Assets, a member of Defra’s Civil Society Advisory Board and a 2012 Clore Social Fellow.
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