HC Deb 28 June 1965 vol 715 cc3-4
4. Mr. Peter Mills

asked the Minister of Land and Natural Resources how many acres of forestry have been planted by the Forestry Commission in the year 1964 and in the first half of 1965 in the County of Devon.

Mr. Skeffington

The figures available relate to the planting season, which ends in May. In the season which has just ended the Forestry Commission planted 534 acres in Devon. In the previous season it planted 537 acres.

Mr. Mills

Is this enough? In my view, nothing like enough acres are being planted in the West Country. Would the Minister consider encouraging the Commission to do more than this and, indeed, to consult the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to see if some of the poorer land could be turned to use for forestry?

Mr. Skeffington

The question whether it is enough must be related to the Commission's commitments in other parts of the country. There are 3,300 acres more to be planted in the county, and it is hoped to accomplish that within the next 6 or 7 years.

Mr. Scott-Hopkins

Is the Minister having a survey of the West Country carried out, particularly of Devon and Cornwall, to see what extra land would be suitable for afforestation?

Mr. Skeffington

Private studies are being made, to which we hope to have access. If they are insufficient, we may have to supplement them.