HC Deb 24 September 1948 vol 456 cc183-4W
Mr. J. Morrison

asked the Minister of Agriculture what acreage of potential farming land has been taken over by the Forestry Commission since 1st January, 1946; what area it is intended to acquire in the next five years; what is the total acreage at present in possession of the Forestry Commission; how much of this remains unplanted; and what total acreage in possession of the Forestry Commission, previously growing timber, remains unplanted.

Mr. T. Williams

I cannot give the hon. Member the precise figure he asks for in the first part of the Question but all acquisitions of land under the Forestry Acts are now made in my name and land suitable for farming purposes is retained by the Ministry of Agriculture for management. Of the 98,000 acres acquired since 1st October, 1945, some 6,000 acres are classed as agricultural and consisted mainly of grazing land. Of this total 2,500 acres have been placed at the disposal of the Forestry Commissioners who will use some of it for forest workers' holdings; a large proportion of the rest will be used for grazing purposes. The acquisition programme for the five years ending 1951 is 926,000 acres. The total area acquired under the Forestry Acts to date is 1,475,000 acres, of which 1,302,000 acres are at the disposal of the Commissioners. Of this, the total area of land classified as plantable but not yet planted is 338,000 acres. The total area of land at the disposal of the Commission previously growing timber, which remains unplanted or has not been re-stocked, is in the region of 10,000 acres. A large proportion of this will be replanted in 1948–49.