HL Deb 28 February 1983 vol 439 c1028WA
Lord Hawke

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, when farmers in Sussex want to grub out woodlands, they are giving them every encouragement to replant rather than to convert to grain growing arable.

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Earl Ferrers)

In the majority of cases, where the Forestry Commission issues a licence for the clear felling of woodland, it requires that the land should be restocked with trees. Grant aid is available from the Forestry Commission for the restocking of woods of 0.25 hectares and above, and the Countryside Commission and local authorities can provide aid for smaller areas.

When it is proposed to convert the land to agricultural use after felling, and this is supported by the appropriate agriculture department and there are no objections from the local authority on environmental grounds, the Forestry Commission will not normally insist on restocking.

The area of land in Sussex which has been licensed for felling in these circumstances since 1st April 1981 has totalled less than 40 hectares.