On 4th August 2014 the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received an answer to a written question on the oversight of the Public Forest Estate.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley): The Government’s policy on the future of the Public Forest Estate is set out in its Forestry and Woodlands Policy Statement of January 2013. The Government is committed to maintaining the Public Forest Estate in public ownership and to establishing a new operationally independent public body to manage the estate for the long-term benefit of people, nature and the economy.
There were many proposals competing for the limited space within the Fourth Session programme and the proposed forestry measures could not be accommodated. However, the Government stands by its commitment to establish the new public body as soon as parliamentary time allows.