(About Tom) hands off our forest
( links)




Hands Off Our Forest, HOOF.


In October 2010 the government proposed to sell off or transfer ownership of all Forestry Commission land in England. In Feb 2011 they U turned following popular outcry, withdrew their legislation and consultation documents, and set up a panel of experts to review how to 'dispose' of England's forests. The panel will report in October 2011. I started a mural project to support the HOOF campaign, to be recontinued if the report is unpopular.


hands off our forest

hands off our forest

I offered to paint a mural for anyone in the forest with a wall with a view. First up was the Forester newspaper in December 2010, whose office is next door to our local MP's office, Mark Harper, a sell off advocate.

Photos by Ellis Godden.



scroll down for more pictures.

hoof mural, deer
Denis and Val of Ruspidge Road in Cinderford chose a deer mural in January 2011.

hoof mural, deer 2

hands off our forest mural

hoof swings

Painted for the Woodward Gang of Ruspidge Road, painted child style because it overlooks a playground and many of the house occupants are teachers or students.
hands off our forest green man

hands off our forest green man gable
Phil and Diane's house, Coalway.

Next door at Richard and Kate's.
The better photos above were taken by Michele Covington-Jones . To see more of her photos click here


Local fire sculptor Phil Bews who built a Big Ben for a HOOF rally on 3 Jan 2011 and asked me to paint the clock face on it.

hands off our forest fire sculpture

To see it burn go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/jan/03/forest-of-dean-protesters-woodland?


The govt wanted the right to 'dispose' of the forest before consulting or saying what they would do with it. This went down like a ton of bricks here in the Forest of Dean, people doubted the rights to roam, free mine, or graze sheep would be maintained. Or that small woodland owners would have the expertise or economies of scale to protect and promote conservation or economic logging operations. 

The Govt's own reports suggest 'disposing' of the forests will cost more money than the sale raise, that a large percentage of private woodlands suffer from neglect, and that the Forestry Commission  fells trees in order to keep supplies of UK timber flowing consistantly regardless of timber prices. Without this flow regulariser the saw mills are in danger of collapsing endangering everyone else supplying or using UK wood.

This is a Blair Iraq moment, the reasons given for the sale make no sense, so one is left to speculate what whim, zealotry, or corruption could be driving the process. To find out more follow the Hands Off Our Forest HOOF link below.




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