HC Deb 19 July 1971 vol 821 c1026
22. Mr. Roderick

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is the number of acres of land in Wales planted by the Forestry Commission and the number planted by private owners ; and what are the corresponding figures for the latest period of 12 months for which figures are available.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

At 31st March, 1971, the Forestry Commission had 312,000 acres of plantations in Wales ; the estimated area of productive privately-owned woodlands was 141,000 acres. In the year ended 31st March, 1971, the Forestry Commission and the private sector planted 6,200 acres and 3,700 acres respectively.

Mr. Roderick

Is not the Minister of State concerned about the increasing proportion of forests that are in private ownership due to taxation benefit? Is not the time now ripe for altering the arrangements so that private foresters come under the same obligations as the Forestry Commission?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

In answering this Question I must declare an interest. I am not aware that the Commission's planning programme has been significantly affected by the activities of the private groups or of other private owners.