§ Mr. Gregory
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has any plans to establish further community forests; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Baldry
As part of their joint initiative to develop a programme of community forests near major conurbations, the Countryside Commission and Forestry Commission have announced nine new candidate sites. The locations are Bedford, Bristol, Cleveland, Manchester, Merseyside, Nottingham, south Hertfordshire, South Yorkshire and Swindon. As the next step, the Government have authoritised the commissions to propose to their local authority partners the appointment of project teams for each area. These teams, consulting closely with interested parties, will draw up detailed plans as the basis for deciding future action. Such plans are already in preparation for three other sites: the Forest of Mercia—south Staffordshire; the Great North Forest—south Tyneside and north-east Durham; and Thames Chase—to the east of London. The further areas bring the total programme proposed to 12 forests, spread throughout England.