HC Deb 08 March 1938 vol 332 cc1718-9
70. Sir P. Harris

asked the right hon. and gallant Member for Rye, as representing the Forestry Commissioners, whether he proposes to plant a belt of trees between the villages of West Dean and Jevington, in East Sussex; whether the chalk soil there is suitable for this purpose; and whether trees have ever been known to grow on the high ground of the East Sussex Downs exposed to wind?

Colonel Ropner

The Forestry Commissioners have already planted, and are continuing to plant, land between West Dean and Jevington in East Sussex. The main crop is to be beech, which grows well on chalk soils. The land rises from a few feet to 350 feet above sea level. There are many examples of beech plantations which have grown satisfactorily on equally exposed positions on the chalk downs in the south of England.

Sir P. Harris

Will the Forestry Commissioners do their best to protect the amenities and peculiar features of the Downs, which afford pleasure to thousands of people in Sussex?

Colonel Ropner

Yes, Sir, I am sure that they will do that.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

Can my hon. and gallant Friend say how much of the plantation is in beech?

Colonel Ropner

On the chalk soils of the Downs the final crop in nearly all cases will be of beech.

Captain Heilgers

Is my hon. and gallant Friend aware that in this particular neighbourhood all attempts at planting beech have been a complete failure?

Colonel Ropner

That is not the experience of the Forestry Commission.

Sir Frank Sanderson

Is it not the fact that the trees referred to have grown appreciably since they were set?