Tag: Mortimer Forest

Covid Watch 44: Hurrah! Mortimer Forest car parks have reopened from today

Forestry England have announced that the car parks serving the Mortimer Forest have reopened this morning. The closure was always controversial and has been the subject of much debate on this blog. However, that is now behind us and we can more easily use one of the most import outdoor resources for South Shropshire and North Herefordshire. Social distancing will of course apply. Sixty-eight Forestry England car parks around the country remain closed today, including Haughmond Hill and Wyre Forest. It is great that the Mortimer Forest car parks are now open. Enjoy the space. Use it to the full and stay safe.

Covid Watch 42: Mortimer Forest car parks must reopen from Wednesday – letter to Forestry England

The closure of the visitor car parks serving the Mortimer Forest has been contentious from the outset. Forestry England has stood firm on this restriction despite protests from local people and myself. We did not accept that restricting access to a huge area of forest walking made any sense during a lockdown during which people were encouraged to exercise. Social distancing is the norm in the Mortimer Forest in the best of weathers. But the car parks were closed. After Boris Johnson’s address to the nation tonight, we must now quickly reopen the huge recreational area of the Mortimer Forest. We need it to promote the physical and mental health of everyone who lives in south Shropshire and north Herefordshire. I have written to Forestry England asking for the car parks to reopened from Wednesday.

Covid Watch 37: Clarifying car parking at Mortimer Forest – all car parks are closed

In my newsletter yesterday morning, I said that Vinnalls Car Park at the Mortimer Forest was open. It had been all weekend. But this seems to have been the result of guerrilla action not a change in policy by Forestry England. The car park was duly closed off again. My apologies for the misinformation and causing confusion. Vinnalls Car Park will be closed for the duration. There is a lively debate going on Facebook about the closure of car parks. I have received a flood of emails and several phone calls. At the heart of the discussion is the interpretation of the government statements and the regulations that form the body of the law and underpin public policy. I’ll return to that in a later article.

Fifty-year plan to improve Mortimer Forest looks good

If you down into the woods this weekend, spare a thought for how they are managed and might be improved. The Forestry Commission has published a fifty-year plan for the Mortimer Forest and wants to hear views by 1 February. The plan’s vision is for the 1,029-hectare forest to be become a haven for people, nature and the economy. Broadleaf cover will be increased to over one-fifth of the forest over the next ten years and to much larger areas over the subsequent decades. Views including from Ludlow will be improved. There is no mention of building accommodation in the forest.

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