This vote is now closed. I have published the results here.

The Forestry Commission has published plans for “new opportunities” in the Mortimer Forest to the south of the town. It promises “benefits for day and overnight visitors, including new and improved paths, trails, natural play, habitat enhancement and a viewpoint for all to enjoy.” That will include 68 holiday chalets in the heart of the forest and a £2.8 million boost to the local economy.

Public opinion on this seems split down the middle. Many think it is a good idea that will bring trade to the town and provide worthwhile holidays. Some think the proposal is too big. Other are opposed completely citing impact on wildlife or concerns about commercialisation of the forest.

What do you think? Vote now…

This vote is now closed. I’ll be publishing the results shortly.

The Forestry Commission and Forest Holidays will apply for planning permission to Herefordshire Council in the summer.


11 thought on “What do you think about the proposals for nearly 70 cabins in the Mortimer Forest? (Vote closed)”
  1. Mortimer Forest is a wild life haven and a joy to walkers, whether they are keen for a five mile trek or a twenty minute doddle, the idea that this wonderful natural area should be turned over to a profit making jamboree horrifies me. it is interesting that the same jaded arguments are trotted out ‘good for local trade’! Oh yes! it will be straight into the car and up to the new super market.
    Please, please don’t let us have yet another assault on our unique area.

    1. My first question at one of the meetings was how much would a cabin cost to rent. I went along concerned that this was just a development for the well off and I was not wrong. I was quoted £2000 high season which horrified me. I was even more amazed when one the Forestry representative told me that was not expensive. Not sure what planet they are on or for long they have been brain washed by listening to the spin on this development! I have never and nor will I pay anything like that for a cottage rental, I think most I have paid is £900 – N. Devon slept 8 in July last year. Had I found that they were going to build 100 camping pods so kids from disadvantaged back grounds could experience and enjoy the great out doors (likely for the first time) then my normal objections on environmental grounds and pressures on local services would have come to little. But to rip off our natural environment for the enjoyment of the rich is wrong on so many levels. These are our forests for the enjoyment of all. There is naturally also the concern that this is just the start and more cabins will follow. I was assured that would not occur, but sorry I don’t believe it. I heard all the business arguments and pressures on the forestry to make money to put back into facilities, but this is a quick and short sighted solution. One of their objectives is to increase the use of the forests by the public. I strongly suspect those using the cabins will be no strangers to walking, cycling etc in the great outdoors. There is an opportunity here in our increasingly divided society to make an effort to improve the lot of those less advantaged than ourselves and improve social mobility.

  2. Joyce – inform yourself fully before joining rank with the predictable noise of those who let their imagination provoke them into rapid response – who’s ‘jaded’?

    1. I don’t know any of the people involved in or any supporters of the scheme; the reference ‘jaded’ is to the argument itself.

  3. I do believe this COULD be a good thing if managed correctly. Ludlow is a tourist town and needs every bit of help it can get. If we oppose every new opportunity presented to us in Ludlow the town will wither and die. Look at how much we have lost in the town in recent years because we don’t like change. We need to think very hard at every opportunity given to us. I have visited other forestry developments, One in the Chiltern hills near Wendover in Buckinghamshire This site works and has worked for many years. Also Up in Scotland again just out side a small town called Newton Stewart. This site has gone from strength to strength over the years. Rather than be blinkered into just opposing this idea why not make it work for the towns advantage. What would you like to see on this site that we all could use an adventure play ground for the kids or a obstacle course for the fitness fanatics. May be a Cafe , Visitor centre or a Bike hire centre that’s three new businesses off the back of the proposal. May be we could persuade the planning committee to also put in a permanent campsite for the local scouts, Guides and schools? or how about cheaper accommodation, or take out some expensive log cabins and put in Caravan pitches and a camp site. By doing this we all could benefit from this wonderful opportunity.

    1. That’s great but what about the small businesses around there is already a camping and caravan site at Monstay farm across the road from this proposed site do you want them to go out of business for a company that is part owned by the forestry commission, Lloyds business arm and a equity company that earnt 36.6 million last year. The owners of that farm are certainly worried enough to think they may have to give it all up and sell because of this development. They have the guides and scouts on this site every year. You also have petchfields cycle hire down there to do you want them to go out of business? Why not use the forestry offices that are already built and make more of them there is already a education centre located there that is under used. Toilet facilities could be added a cafe and children’s play ground

  4. This is very kind of thing half a million people voted against in the Save Our Forests Campaign in 2010. It’s privatisation through the back door. If we allow these developments we may lose our public forests. Sadly, it seems that people don’t realise there is nothing in this for anyone but the private equity company behind this. The Forestry Commission are getting virtually nothing out of it. If people really understood what is behind this, no one would vote for it. Please listen to the opposition campaign to get the facts right.

  5. I like to think I am not too much of a NIMBY, but surely if we are to have new development in Mortimer Forest then let it be for the benefit of locals and not for wealthy incoming holidaymakers.
    Forest Holidays’ own figures say there will be 280 vehicle movements a day on the half mile track from High Vinnals carpark to their proposed site, currently this track is free of vehicles so that children, adults and wildlife can wander freely without any traffic worries. I don’t know anybody, who enjoys Mortimer Forest as it is, who is calling out for new and “improved” tracks, a café or toilets, along with the obligatory smells and litter that will no doubt accompany these “improvements”.
    To use the argument that this will be good for local business is fatuous, my experience (and I have holidayed in a forest lodge) is you arrive with cardboard boxes filled with pots of Bolognese, steaks for the BBQ, all the accompaniments, your own drink and try as much as possible to avoid visiting local shops or restaurants. In addition to this the proposed site is in North Herefordshire so the considerable Business Rates paid will not benefit Ludlow by one penny.
    Having said all this I suppose being pragmatic I have to accept big money will win in the end and our best hope is to modify their thinking so the impact for current users is lessened. Half a mile beyond the High Vinnals entrance to the Forest is another entrance that could be used to access the proposed site, this would keep traffic away the tracks predominantly used by those parking at High Vinnals.

  6. This really comes across as “a money talks” development, I am really shocked to see the Forestry Commision using the forest as a money making toy. I did hear (not sure if this is true) they are looking at offering the holiday company a 125 year lease, which will of course be very lucrative for both companies. My family and I are extremely fortunate to live very close to Mortimer Forest, the roads are already in an awful state with huge amounts of pot holes, from having to drive on these roads daily I know they would not stand up to taking any increased levels of traffic.
    Of course the biggest concern is the negative impact that this will have on the forests wildlife. I have seen a similar development undertaken in the Wyre Forest in Worcestershire. Although the intial development was small, 10 years later it has become an amusement park/forest due to the continuous expansion of the overall development. Having personally worked in busniness for sometime, I know that when something begins to become financially rewarding a company will always want to expand to create further revenue. Do we really want Mortimer Forest to become a Centre Parcs… not now, but in years to come….

  7. Melissa, I don’t want any small business to fail because of a company wanting to invest in to this area. I truly don’t, as i have a small business in the town myself. But it gives the businesses you have mentioned an opportunity to reach more people surely, But i don’t think realistically some one who is going to spend a shed load of money to stay in a log cabin with all its creature comforts for a week is the same type of person who will put up a canvas tent and sleep on the ground in a sheep field.
    All i am trying to say is lets make it work for us rather than oppose every opportunity that is presented to us. If we don’t have change we would be stuck in the dark ages. I think we all agree that Ludlow is a tourist town and needs the business from tourism. I do agree with you, why doesn’t the forestry do more at their offices? There are so many opportunities missed.

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