Tuesday, 3 March 2009

England's largest forest takes shape on the edge of St Albans

When and if a plan to create an 850-acre forest on the edge of St Albans gets the go ahead it will create the largest new native woodland the people of England have ever seen. Neil Skinner joined residents on a guided tour on Saturday.

It's a development of immense size and scale; far in advance of anything the area has witnessed before – a project which dwarfs any supermarket or housing estate past or present.

Why, then, has it created such limited local opposition and why is the £8.5 million project necessary at all? Why spend so much money on a project many of us won’t live to witness in its full glory?

The UK, apparently, languishes at the bottom of the European woodland league, with a mere 12 per cent coverage compared to 44 per cent in other parts of the continent. Extricate from this the vast wooded areas in Scotland the comparative poverty of England becomes clear; a poverty not just of aesthetic beauty but of fragile woodland species – 78 of which are thought to on the verge of extinction.

Full story HERE

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