HC Deb 22 February 1972 vol 831 c264W
83. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether he is aware that, while 44 million Sitka spruce were planted by the Forestry Commission in 1970–71, only 280,000 of the more commonly used broadleaf tree were planted; and whether he will instruct the Commission to take a long-term view of their obligations and to plant more broadleaved trees.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

Nearly all the land that the commission now acquires is in the uplands and very little of it is suitable for broadleaved trees. My hon. Friend will, however, be glad to know that the commission is laying increased emphasis on keeping up the numbers of broadleaved trees in its existing plantations.

The 280,000 trees to which my hon. Friend refers were beech. Altogether the commission planted 440,000 broadleaved trees during the year.

84. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many applications have been received by the Forestry Commission from mining companies wishing to explore for mineral under plantations; how many have been granted; and what his policy is with regard to such applications.

Mr. Anthony Stodart

Applications to the Forestry Commission for permission to prospect for minerals are considered on their merits, having regard to the obligations of the commission and the forestry Ministers under the Countryside Acts. During the last two years 40 such applications have been received of which 25 have so far been granted.