Sunday, 28 May 2017

Fineshade - the writing is on the wall

A message from 'Friends of Fineshade'...

'Dear Friends

You may be already aware of the news that we published last week on the website and via social media – there is a very real chance that Fineshade could be taken off the so-called Exclusivity List – the Forestry Commission’s list of sites for possible future exploitation by Forest Holidays. This summer, staff in the FC Central District Office in Sherwood will be drawing up a list of “potential opportunities for Forest Holidays sites” in their area. This was last done, in secret, in 2012 and resulted in Fineshade being added to the Exclusivity List, with the subsequent aggressive Planning Applications that with your help were beaten off.

It seems that, 5 years on, that list is being revisited by those high up in the Forestry Commission, but this time we know it’s happening and there is an opportunity for us, the public, to influence those decisions. It seems unlikely that FC will be engaging in an actual Public Consultation – we’ve written to ask for one, but are not holding our breath for an answer! However, with your help, we are in a position to make this consultation public and, in particular, to remind FC managers of all the reasons why Fineshade (like other parts of the Public Forest Estate) should no longer be seen as a potential opportunity for private exploitation.

We believe that there are very many arguments to oppose development here (see the list below) and that, probably, FC will not put Fineshade on the renewed list. But it seems a really good opportunity to get this threat to Fineshade dealt with once and for all, so we are enlisting your help to influence FC decision makers. Here are two things you could do now - there may be more later in the summer.

 The writing’s on the wall. 

We’re creating a wall on the Friends of Fineshade website with short, signed expressions of support and highlighting particular arguments. This will start now and can be on-going throughout the summer with lots of opportunities for social media and press coverage. See here for the draft page so that you can get the idea: We’ll publish it properly as soon as we get a few more signed messages. Please send us your contribution to the writing on the wall.

 Contacting key FC staff

We know from experience with our local councillors how powerful individual letters can be, so if you feel able to start now there are three Central District staff who we think will be involved with the decision. Their details are below. Later we could also send an open letter summarising all our arguments, copied to the media and signed by as many people as possible, to the Chief Executive of Forest Enterprise.

There are, no doubt, other possible ways of highlighting the fact that, if FC make the right decision, the threat could be finally removed this summer. Do let us know if you have any advice and ideas about how to proceed.

 But, for now, please email us your message for the Forestry Commission - let's get lots of writing on the wall!

 Friends of Fineshade - enjoying and protecting Fineshade wood

14 Reasons why Fineshade does not have potential as a FH site:

Key FC decision makers in Central Region

         Office address
         Central District Office, Kings Clipstone, Mansfield, Notts, NG21 9JL
         0300 067 4340

 Andy Medhurst, Forest Management Director, Central Forest District  (Responsible for putting Fineshade on the list in 2012.  We understand Andy has been seriously ill and is on long-term sick leave. Not clear who is handling his workload and emails.)

Jo Atkinson, District Head of Recreation and Public Affairs, Central England

Adrienne Bennett, Ecology & Heritage Manager, Central Forest District (Knows Fineshade, the key person in promoting Back from the Brink, likely to be very supportive of Fineshade’s case)'

Neil M

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