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So Ms.Sue Holden thinks that Sandridge is 20 miles from Marble Arch...that will be as the crow,bat,butterfly.bug that will inhabit her forest,will fly!
The land in Sandridge is prime agricultural land- the 'breadbasket of England' during the war.It is morally wrong to change this land use from food provider to leisure provider.We are living in a time of increased food prices so how can we consider taking such a huge area out of grain production?

I wonder who the land is being bought from and whether that person/persons will have anything to do with the future of the forest. I am a little concerned about the "activities" that may be planned and whether all of the land will be open to the public.

The 850 acres is the majority of Hill End Farm, on the B651 north of Sandridge, currently owned by one Andrew Reid, London solicitor, "gentleman farmer", racehorse owner and trainer, and property developer. He bought the farm from the Salvation Army two years ago allegedly for £2.5 million. If the sale to the Woodland Trust goes ahead he will pocket something like £4million. Not quite the generous local benefactor he would have the world would believe him to be. Most of the land to be sold is Grade 1 arable currently planted out to wheat which helps to feed people. Still, you can't argue with the liberal tree-hugging fundamentalists, they're on a roll here. I wonder who's going to stump up huge donations?

Bob, sadly Mr Reid's complete lack of community spirit with regard to access to his land and common courtesy to fellow farmers mean that probably most of us in Sandridge would be prepared to pay anything to get rid of him. So if this new forest will do the job, I'm all for it.

Woodland Trust’s outdated agenda

I was interested to read that the Woodland Trust intends to buy 850 acres of land at Sandridge in Hertfordshire for £8.5m to plant native trees and is comparing it as our equivalent of the rain forest. It then goes on to say how much it will benefit the 2 million people who live within 15 miles of the site as a large and accessible space for recreational purposes to where the majority will probably drive their cars. This seems little short of urbanising the countryside by the back door at a time when it should be important for conservationists to seek to reduce the human impact.

Has no one told these people, who are supposed to be conservationists, that it is the increase in the human footprint that is damaging the rain forests and the planet at large, and that in the increasing global food shortage arable land could be better used for producing food at reasonable cost.

It seems the Woodland Trust is more concerned about extending its empire at the public’s expense, than considering the environmental, economic and even social damage of its now outdated agenda.

It is also my experience that once the Trust buys woodland, generally and mainly with other people’s money, it moves on to its next development, with little regard for countering anti-social behaviour and monitoring for basic maintenance.

Perhaps it is time for the Woodland Trust to realise that quality of woodland is much more desirable than quantity in terms of acreage.

Angus Macmillan
Meikle Boturich
Near Balloch
G83 8LX

Tel. 01389 756424
Fax. 01389 756723

It's touching to see the concern expressed here that arable land should be protected so that people should have enough to eat. However, a brief look around at our fellow countrymen will confirm that fact that it is gross obesity that is (literally) the biggest problem that our nation faces.

Clearly, all the fatties that send too much time on the Internet whingeing about the positive, constructive actions of others should, instead, eat less and get more exercise - perhaps by walking around the beautiful woodland that the Woodland Trust is conserving for all of us.

Dan Robinson (St. Albans)

I cant believe the ignorami posting on here...

• 1/3 of the food we already produce gets tipped into landfills.

• half the population are overweight or obese

Yet these halfwits actually spotlight their ignorance by berating an attempt to regenerate natural habitat... to not only enhance our own quality of life but also other life forms with which we share this planet.

Its not being a "tree hugger" its about common sense - when we've eaten our way through all of this earth's resources what then... move on to another planet like some kind of parasite.

you make me sick.

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