HC Deb 02 February 1959 vol 599 c15
22 and 23. Mr. Hayman

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) how many requests have been received for the clear-felling of Buckland Woods in the Dartmoor National Park, and how many against; and whether he will give similar information for the Forestry Commission;

(2) whether he will make a statement on his conversations with the Forestry Commission about the proposal for a dedication covenant to cover Buckland Woods, in the Dartmoor National Park.

Mr. John Hare

The Forestry Commission has received from the landowner 19 separate applications for licences to clear-fell a total of about 400 acres of woodland on the Buckland Court Estate. These applications are still being considered. I and my Department have had 15 and the Forestry Commission 16 letters making representations against the proposed felling. The Forestry Commission will take no further action until discussions now going on between the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, the National Parks Commission and the Forestry Commission are completed.

Mr. Hayman

Will the Minister bear in mind that in evidence given before the Royal Commission on Common Land the Deputy Director-General of the Forestry Commission said that the Commission opposed clear-felling in large blocks for amenity reasons, in the best interests of the forest itself and the fertility of the soil? Will he and his right hon. Friend take those considerations into account, and also the fact that a dedication covenant exempts the owner from a tree preservation order and from a public inquiry?

Mr. Hare

These are all points which should be considered in the conversations to which I have just referred.

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