Why are people so against private involvement of our forests?

Private involvement in things is not automatically bad. Why the automatic assumption that private involvement in our forests should be such an awful thing to happen. Frankly there are many instances where private ownership can be much better than without private involvement. There are also many instances where private land is much better looked after than communal areas.

I have spend many hours making my front garden look nice. I enjoy it and I hope others do to. I live on a nice housing estate and right opposite me is a communal grassy area. That area is not looked after half as well as private land. Local kids just leave their rubbish on it. Dogs foul on it, and so on and so on. The communal area is worse than the majority of the privately owned land, and peope treat it worse than they do private land.

We all see it on estates where there is a bit of grass separate from a private garden next to the pavement. Many people don’t look after it because they feel no ownership over it and leave it to the local council, or even park on it, when they wouldnt on their own property

So yes, there are many examples of private land being tended better, often for the benefit of all. I was born and brought up in Chesterfield. The Chatsworth estate and gardens are far better than any park I know. They are privately owned, but the public can drive through and enjoy the countryside. Is that a terrible thing? No the Duke of Devonshire has done a much better job than any council of any political colour would.

In many cases the same can be said of farmers who look after the countryside for the benefit of us all.

I am not saying i would “privatise” forests, but when we hear that talking about private involvement is just the Conservatives being ideological, I would thrown back perhaps those objecting are being slightly ideological in their objections? Maybe a little private involvement could lead to improvements that benefit us all!

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21 Responses to Why are people so against private involvement of our forests?

  1. Tav says:

    "Maybe a little private involvement could lead to improvements that benefit us all!" – So you are supporting this on a 'maybe' and a 'could'! What happens if it doesn't work, can we buy the forests back? Can we buy them back for the same price we sold them?

    Your 'communal grassy area' and Chatsworth estate and gardens aren't forests (I admit Chatsworth has Stand Wood). So how to you know this will lead to "improvements that benefit us all"?

  2. UK Editor says:

    I have given you evidence where private ownership of land shows it is better managed than public ownership. Having lived in Florida for three years I suggest you look at some of the great privately owned areas that are managed much better than some of our wooded areas which have become a dumping ground for fly tippers et al.

    So you have looked Chatsworth up on google …. well done. A clear example, whether you like it or not, of privately owned land (the point I first made) being run for the benefit of everyone, better than many communal areas looked after by, for example, local councils.

    The anti’s are the ones saying that private involvement will DEFINITELY be bad based on presumptions and pre conceived ideas alone.

  3. @PompeyGoat says:

    He doesn't know however he's not claiming to. All he's doing is raising the possibility that it might not cause the sky to fall in. Instead of leaping to knee jerk reactions why not wait until there's more details on the proposals and take a balanced view.

  4. Tav says:

    @PompeyGoat: He is claiming that if a communal grassy area outside his house is 'not working' and Chatsworth estate and gardens work because they are privately owned then ipso facto private owned forests are going to lead (sorry may lead) to 'improvements that benefit to all'.

    It is like saying lets sell libraries because that corner shop down the road is doing well at selling magazines.

    The comical part is that he's saying people are "suggesting public ownership is ALWAYS better is based on pure presumptions and preconceptions", yet he has just reversed the argument by saying that private ownership is better because of a grassy knoll he can see outside his own window. Who's got the knee jerk reaction here?

    • toryradio says:

      You really are reading what you think you want to hear. Can you accept that not all private ownership is bad? If you can't, which is fin, I think you are wholly wrong.

      Your comment about grassy knoll does show you to be a little silly. I have given you examples where private ownership of land works perfectly well for the public good. Your analogy of public libraries is also nonsense.

      It may be like saying private involvement in health is not bad, as after all, every pill you swallow will have been developed and manufactured by a private company.

      Did you not read the first sentence of this pst.. or are you trying to be a little moronic.

      "Private involvement in things is not automatically bad."

      or perhaps you also missed… "I am not saying i would “privatise” forests,"

      But then you probably have a gas guzzler and kids which ecologically will both do more damage to the environment than little old me ever will. Oops – you see – a preconceived idea about something based on nothing you've actually said.. See what I did there.

  5. alex says:

    hi there

    have a read: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/13

    Last time this happened thousands of acres of ecological forests were damaged in the name of profit. Hence why people, including many, many Tory voters, are now angry with the current plans. There are also many instances of land being closed off, despite laws to protect the right of way.

    It's also about the scale. Forests can't be replaced overnight if this goes wrong. The precautionary principle to protect valuable life or assets is taken in many areas of society, e.g. during operations, health scans, to protect goods, to protect communities.

  6. toryradio says:

    People quoting the Telegraph and the Guardian.. wonder where the paper comes from to print these newspapers? God forbid a private forest being managed in a sustainable way!

  7. Tav says:

    OK so let's recap.

    In trying to answer your own rhetorical question, "Why are people so against private involvement of our FORESTS? (my capitalisation) you support your case with 'generic land' which can be anything from a grassy area in Chesterfield, to Chatsworth, and even some unnamed forests in Florida (comment removed!). Regardless of comparing like with like (i.e. a private English forest open to the public) you satisfy your answer with 'I'm only talking about private land'.

    So far you are the only person I know saying that private involvement of our forests is beneficial. You are in disagreement with my MP, Mark Garnier MP [Wyre Forest, Conservative] who says, "…there will be no noticeable difference in the forestry estate". I was hoping you would enlightenment me and give me an example of a private English forest open to the public but you failed to do that.

    • toryradio says:

      I am in disagreement with your MP? The relevance of that is??

      I have given you clear examples of private areas open to the public which are of benefit to everyone. You are the one suggesting private involvement HAS to be bad… a case you have woefully failed to do.

      • Tav says:

        The reference to the MP is where I'm coming from. My MP says 'no-change', you state, 'change for the better' ("I am not saying i would “privatise” forests, but … maybe a little private involvement could lead to improvements that benefit us all!"), everyone else says, 'change for the worse'.

        Please give me an example of a private English forest open to the public.

  8. Tav says:

    I read both today's Times articles ('Time to take an axe to nationalised woodland' http://bit.ly/dXZWIZ and 'Woodland sell-off rethink puts public before profits') and yet again no evidence is given that private forests are beneficial. Matt Ridley talks about the inadequacies of the Forestry Commission and makes no arguments for private ownership of forests only arguments for future owners.

    What you have done (really badly) is argue that Guardian and Telegraph readers (or anyone not Tory) automatically jump to the conclusion that private forests are bad, by (and this is the comical bit) automatically jumping to the conclusion that private forests are beneficial. To make it worse you still haven't given an example of a private English forest that actually is beneficial (don't pick Rigg Wood).

    • toryradio says:

      Where have I automatically suggested private forests are beneficial. Again that is a conclusion you have come to by your complete lack of comprehension of what has been written.

      • Tav says:

        "I am not saying i would “privatise” forests, but … maybe a little private involvement could lead to improvements that benefit us all!"

      • toryradio says:

        So could means would? Ok…. any point proven in your lack of comprehension. You are saying won't I am saying might.. do you get the distinction. Need wikipedia to look it up? just asking.. just want to make sure you are keeping up. Please don't buy any more papers on my behalf to quote from.. I don't want you destroying any forests now.

  9. Tav says:

    I did Google Chatsworth and yes I tried to telephone them today for a comment. I'll email them instead. I also Googled 'grassy area in Chesterfield' but without success!

    I can probably find examples where private ownership of land is either good or bad; I can also probably find examples of public ownership of land that is either good or bad. However this isn't going to answer the question, "Why are people so against private involvement of our FORESTS", is it?

  10. toryradio says:

    Yet again you inability to read what has been written is clear for all to see. I do not live in Chesterfield. So your moronic "grassy area in Chesterfield" comments really do go to show how you may need to trot back to school to learn comprehension. I have however said I was brought up there. Another case of you reading something that has not been said.

    Re read what I have said above AGAIN. You are the one along with others suggesting private involvement has to be bad. Re read again my comment above which states "I am not saying i would “privatise” forests," and also "Private involvement in things is not automatically bad."

    • Tav says:

      You are not saying you would privatise forests but you reckon 'a little private involvement' would be similar to stopping dogs shitting on a communal grassy area on the nice housing estate where you live. Is that right? Is that what I am supposed to read?

      • toryradio says:

        Sorry.. did you say, yes I did misinterpret what you said again? I'm sure thats what you wanted to say to me.

        I see no evidence that private involvement will automatically be bad. Correct. I see evidence where lack of private involvement in environmental settings can be bad just as I see evidence where private involvement may not be an improvement. The distinction if you see something as automatically bad…. I do not.

  11. keynesianism says:

    Hasn't there been much private sector involvement in many of the world's rainforests? Short termism driven by greed has led to their serious demise. Fast food, cheap furniture, palm oil etc etc. The tragedy of the commons is alive and well. Remember the cod wars in the 70's? The Icelandic government took control and prrotected fish stocks, we didn't and look what happened. Same principle at work here. some things need protecting from the self destructing force of capitalism.

  12. ron Vibentrop says:

    They privatised the Amazon Rain Forest and look what they did there. They privatised the forests of Borneo and look at the deforestation and planting of trees, yes more trees, for palm oil, wrecking wildlife habitat and a major source for clean air. They privatised the rain forests of Indonesia – same story. We are about to invite a raft of deposed middle eastern dictators with wads of stolen cash who would delight in buying up our forests and wrecking them.
    We have paid taxes to maintain these forests. Will we get a refund from the state when they are sold? Of course not, it will just sink into a bottomless pit to maintain a bunch of corrupt chancers (regardless of party) who couldn't run a bath yet alone a country.

    • toryradio says:

      So people will want to buy the Forests and wreck them.. really.. will they really? What about the 85% of forest land in private hands already – better nationalise it then?? Oh wait.. we cant.. as there is no money.

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