Church Commissioner Questions: Forestry, Persecuted Christians, Christ Church college Oxford, Christmas campaign

On Thursday 29th November 2018 the Second Church Estates Commissioner, Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP, answered questions in the House of Commons on the Northern Forest Initiative, persecuted Christians overseas, Christ Church college Oxford, and the Church of England’s Christmas campaign. A full transcript is below: Continue reading “Church Commissioner Questions: Forestry, Persecuted Christians, Christ Church college Oxford, Christmas campaign”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about forestry commission land

On 29th June 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on forestry commission land:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many hectares of land managed by the Forestry Commission in England are (1) open habitat, (2) agricultural land, (3) quarries, (4) car parks, and (5) built development. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about forestry commission land”

Bishop of St Albans asks government about Forestry Commission land

On 4th June 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question about the Forestry Commission:

The Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many hectares of land were leased out by the Forestry Commission in (1) 2000, (2) 2005, (3) 2010, (4) 2015, and (5) 2018. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks government about Forestry Commission land”

Bishop of St Albans asks about Forestry Commission land

On 17th May 2018 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received a written answer to a question on Forestry Commission Land:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many hectares of land were owned by the Forestry Commission in (1) 2000, (2) 2005, (3) 2010, (4) 2015, and (5) 2018. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about Forestry Commission land”

Bishop of St Albans asks about protection for forests

StAlbans171115On the 25th January, Baroness Royall of Blasidon asked the government “what assessment they have made of the social and environmental impacts of the potential extraction of coal-bed methane on forests such as the Forest of Dean.” The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question.

 

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, this Question raises a much broader issue, which concerns many people, about the protection both of the ancient forest lands and of the forestry estates. Could the Minister update your Lordships’ House on what progress has been made towards the appointment of the new public forest body, which was the recommendation of the independent forestry report? If no progress has been made, what role is, for example, the Forestry Commission taking in protecting this land, which the public hold so dear and for which they have such great concern?

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks about protection for forests”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government if they have plans to increase the public forest estate

On 17th March 2015 Baroness Royall of Blaisdon asked Her Majesty’s Government “what steps they are taking to protect the Forestry Commission’s stake in Forest Holidays and to ensure that in the event of a sale by the majority shareholder they would not lose all management control of any future development.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a supplementary question:

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, the Forestry Commission in England is to be congratulated on the significant rise in the number of people visiting our public forest estates, not least as it is against the background of a recent report which suggests that the number of people visiting rural areas has slightly declined. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government if they have plans to increase the public forest estate”

Bishop of St Albans co-sponsors amendment to protect Public Forest Estate

On 5th November 2014, the Bishop of St Albans took part in a debate on an amendment to the Infrastructure Bill, which he co-sponsored with Baroness Royall of Blaisdon. The amendment sought to guarantee the protection of the Public Forest Estate, following the recommendations made by the Independent Panel on Forestry, which was chaired by the former Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd James Jones. Following the debate on the amendment, the Government agreed to bring forward amendments to the Bill at Third Reading.

Bishop of St AlbansThe Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I am glad to speak in support of this amendment proposed by the noble Baroness, Lady Royall. I am also glad to pay tribute to her persistence on this matter which I, too, believe is crucial. When the discussions about the future of the forestry estate have come before the public they have made their views absolutely clear that trees, woods and forests are a vital part of the make-up of the English countryside. Although they now cover only 9% of the land area of England, trees have an iconic place in our relationship with the landscape. Whether living in towns, cities, villages or hamlets, many people express affection and deep regard for the well-being of trees in the locality. Protecting the Public Forest Estate will bring many benefits to the public and the environment. I will mention three of them briefly. Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans co-sponsors amendment to protect Public Forest Estate”