0 Sale of Rigg Wood could herald forests' future

Sale of Rigg Wood could herald forests' future With the Government preparing to sell off some of Britain's forests to the private sector, campaigners have highlighted the case of Rigg Wood in Cumbria as a sign of things to come.

The padlocked gate tells its own story.The main entrance to what was once a popular picnic and walking site in the heart of the Lake District is closed. Campaigners say the public have effectively been shut out.

Rigg Wood, a 40-acre (16 hectare) site by the banks of Coniston Water, was sold for £116,000 in October. Many local residents only learned of the sale when they noticed that the small car park at the site had been closed by its new owner.

Now campaigners are warning that Rigg Wood's fate will become a familiar tale if the Government presses ahead with plans to sell off forests throughout England.

Paul Townsend, the chairman of the Save Lakeland's Forests group, said: "What has happened here is a symbol of what could happen if forests are sold.

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