Peak District woods being 'sold off to highest bidder', campaigners claim

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Campaigners claim the Peak District National Park authority is 'selling off' woods to the 'highest bidder'.

The organisation is currently selling six woodlands in the area.

A spokesman for the We Own It campaign group said: "The Peak District National Park is selling off our woodlands.

"They say they're 'returning our woodlands to the community'.

"But woodlands should belong to all of us – not just the highest bidder."

A spokesman for the Peak District National Park authority said: "Access rights will remain intact in these small areas of woodland.

"There are also covenants in place to ensure the woodlands are maintained to protect the natural habitat of animals and to prevent development.

"Money raised from the sale of the woodlands will be re-invested to help visitors enjoy all areas of the national park."

The spokesman added: "We currently manage more than 100 woodlands, covering 417 hectares of land in the national park.

"We have acquired these woodlands since we were designated a national park in 1951, with the aim of securing these important landscape features and rescuing woodlands which were under threat or in need of restoration.

"Some were also acquired as part of bigger estates.

"Having established or improved these woods – often by reclaiming former rubbish tips or quarry sites – and protecting and maintaining them over many years, we have fulfilled our primary conservation objective.

"We now want to return these natural assets to the community to reduce our liabilities and make the best possible use of the resources we have.

"The woodland sales allow us to focus on the protection, improvement and maintenance of our other holdings and any woodlands sold will still be regulated by the Forestry Commission in accordance with the UK Forestry Standard.

"Fourteen woodlands have already been bought by members of the public who are now enjoying the benefits of owning a woodland in the Peak District National Park."

If you would like to buy a woodland from the Peak District National Park authority, contact the agent Bagshaws on 01629 812777.

Alternatively, visit www.bagshaws.com

Full list of woods for sale

• Barmoor North Wood, north of Dove Holes

• Barmoor South Wood, north of Dove Holes

• Cotesfield Plantation, north of Parsley Hay

• Crossroads Wood, Blackwell

• Jackson’s Plantation, Peak Forest

• Flagg Moor Wood, Pomeroy