In an attempt to raise billions in funds for Britain’s “Big Society,” David Cameron’s government is allegedly planning to sell half of Britain’s government-owned forests–including the stomping grounds of Robin Hood and Maid Marian: Sherwood Forest. The land will be sold to private companies that will build holiday villages, golf courses, and begin commercial logging operations: legislation that governs protection of the forests, some of which dates back to the Magna Carta of 1215, will likely be changed to grant private firms the right to log.
The Telegraph reports that a third of the land would be transferred to private ownership between 2011 and 2015, and the rest would be sold by 2020. The revenue from the forest sales will be directed toward government departments that were worst hit by Britain’s new austerity program, under which government spending is to be cut by 19 per cent. Opposition to a forest sell-off is mounting: “If this means vast swathes of valuable forest being sold to private developers, it will be an unforgiveable act of environmental vandalism,” said Green MP Caroline Lucas.