On Thursday 10th December, Kit Malthouse, MP for North West Hampshire spoke in the debate on the Protection of Ancient Woodlands. Following several other excellent contributions in the debate hosted by Rebecca Pow MP, Kit argued that we should protect this national treasure for their value as a living link to our history. He stated that they are a reminder of the many generations who have been before us in the sight of these forests and the many in the future who these forests will also watch.
In the debate he said that “These old forests set the boundary of human control. The world has changed, but whilst the whirlwind of industry and everyday life has carried on, our ancient woodlands have stood, silently staring. We feel smaller next to them, humbled by their age—-feelings not often associated with our modern times”.
A forest qualifies as Ancient Woodland if it has been continuously wooded since 1600 in England, and since 1750 in Scotland. Ancient woodland is not fully protected in the UK and more than 1,000 hectares have been destroyed in the last decade.
Hundreds of ancient woods are under threat right now from planning applications for development including golf courses, campsites, roads, houses, sports facilities and car parks