by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
It is a great relief to learn from the Independent that Ex-Environment Secretary Owen Paterson's proposed biodiversity offsetting scheme has been dropped by the Government.
The scheme would have allowed developers to build on ancient woodlands provided that they plant new trees elsewhere.
As most of us know, I am sure, a newly planted woodland would take hundreds of years to mature into a biodiverse area, so this was a ridiculous proposal from the outset.
This was the selfsame Minister of the Environment who also stated that there was no problem with the HS2 high-speed train line cutting through ancient woodlands as the government would simply move those woods to elsewhere.
This also, once again, brings to the fore the uselessness of the Forestry Commission for it should have immediately advised the then Secretary of State that his idea was absolutely ridiculous in the same as way his statement about moving woodlands. But they did nothing. Another proof that Britain needs a Ministry of Forests whose task it is to protect and oversee the proper management of forests and woodlands.