The Forestry Commission is a non-ministerial government department responsible for the management of publicly-owned forests, the regulation of both public and private forestry, in England. It was also responsible for Forestry in Wales and Scotland, however on 1 April 2013 Forestry Commission Wales merged with other agencies to become Natural Resources Wales, whilst two new bodies were established in Scotland on 1 April 2019; the commission was set up in 1919 to expand Britain's forests and woodland after depletion during the First World War. To do this, the commission bought large amounts of former agricultural land becoming the largest land owner in Britain; the Commission is divided into three divisions: Forestry England, Forestry Commission and Forest Research. Over time the purpose of the Commission broadened to include many other activities beyond timber production. One major activity is scientific research, some of, carried out in research forests across Britain. Recreation is important, with several outdoor activities being promoted.
Protecting and improving biodiversity across England's forests are part of the Forestry Commission's remit. The Commission received criticism for its reliance on conifers the uniform appearance of conifer forests and concerns over a lack of biodiversity. Protests from the general public and conservation groups accompanied attempts to privatise the organisation in 1993 and 2010. Prior to the setting up of separate bodies for Scotland the Forestry Commission managed 700,000 hectares of land in England and Scotland, making it the country's biggest land manager; the majority of the land was in Scotland, 30% of the landholding is in England. Activities carried out on the forest estate include maintenance and improvement of the natural environment and the provision of recreation, timber harvesting to supply domestic industry, regenerating brownfield and replanting of harvested areas. Deforestation was the main reason for the creation of the commission in 1919. Britain had only 5% of its original forest cover left and the government at that time wanted to create a strategic resource of timber.
Since forest coverage has doubled and the commission's remit expanded to include greater focus on sustainable forest management and maximising public benefits. Woodland creation continues to be an important role of the commission and works with government to achieve its goal of 12% forest coverage by 2060, championing initiatives such as The Big Tree Plant and Woodland Carbon Code; the Forestry Commission is the government body responsible for the regulation of private forestry in England. The Commission is responsible for encouraging new private forest growth and development. Part of this role is carried out by providing grants in support of private woodlands; the Forestry Commission was established as part of the Forestry Act 1919. The board was made up of eight forestry commissioners and was chaired by Simon Fraser, 14th Lord Lovat from 1919 to 1927; the commission was set up to increase the amount of woodland in Britain by buying land for afforestation and reforestation. The commission was tasked with promoting forestry and the production of timber for trade.
During the 1920s the Commission focused on acquiring land to begin planting out new forests. During the Great Depression the Forestry Commission's estate continued to grow so that it was just over 360,000 hectares of land by 1934; the low cost of land, the need to increase timber production meant that by 1939 the Forestry Commission was the largest landowner in Britain. At the outbreak of the Second World War the Forestry Commission was split into the Forest Management Department, to continue with the Commission's duties, the Timber Supply Department to produce enough timber for the war effort; this division lasted until 1941, when the Timber Supply Department was absorbed by the Ministry of Supply. Much of the timber supplied for the war came from the Forest of Dean; the war saw the Commission introduce the licensing system for tree felling. By the end of the war a third of available timber had been cut down and used; the advisory committee on Forest Research was formed in 1929 to guide the research efforts of the Forestry Commission.
After the war, the Commission began to increase its research output significantly. This included the establishment of three research stations beginning with Alice Holt Lodge in 1946; the expansion in research accompanied a significant increase in timber sales, exceeding £2 million per year during the 1950s. The Countryside Act 1968 required public bodies, including the Forestry Commission, to "have regard to the desirability of conserving the natural beauty and amenity of the countryside." This forced the Commission to focus on conservation and recreation as well as the production and sale of timber. The conservation effort was driven by Peter Garthwaite and Sylvia Crowe. Crowe helped the Commission landscape their forests to make them more appropriate for recreational use. Having begun to develop campsites within their forests during the early 1960s, the Commission set up a Forest Cabins Branch during the 1970s to expand the number of cabins available for the public to stay in during their holidays.
In 1970 the Commission opened its Northern research station in Roslin. The 1970s saw the publication of a Treasury report which stated "afforestation... and replanting fell far short of achieving the official 10% return on investment" with concerns over the long term
Craig Silverman is a Canadian journalist and the media editor of BuzzFeed, the former head of BuzzFeed's Canadian division. Known as an expert in "fake news", he founded the "Regret the Error" blog in 2004, covering fact-checking and media inaccuracy, authored a 2009 book of the same name, which won the Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism from the National Press Club. In 2011 he joined the Poynter Institute for Media Studies as an adjunct faculty member, he founded the hoax and rumor tracking website Emergent and co-authored a biography of Michael Calce, the hacker known as MafiaBoy. He received a 2013 Mirror Award for Digital Media. Born in Nova Scotia, Silverman is a graduate of Concordia University in Montreal and moved to Toronto to join BuzzFeed. Craig Silverman at BuzzFeed Emergent
Richard Stephens Jackson was a British solicitor and Liberal Party politician. Born in Newington in north Kent, Jackson was the son of John Jackson of Sittingbourne, a surveyor, his wife Harriet née Tress of Upchurch. Following education at Elm House School in Sittingbourne, he spent some time as a merchant seaman, before being admitted as a solicitor in 1872, he practised in that Sittingbourne and London. As of 1895, he was practising at Ingham Court, 167 Fenchurch Street, he entered politics when he was elected to represent Greenwich on the first London County Council in January 1889. He was a member of the majority Progressive Party on the council, allied to the parliamentary Liberal Party, he was re-elected in 1892. On the council he took a particular interest in progressing the construction of the Blackwall Tunnel, he lost his county council seat in 1895 to a member of the Conservative-backed Moderate Party due to the intervention of an Independent Labour Party candidate. Jackson contested the 1900 general election as the Liberal Party's candidate at Greenwich, standing against the sitting Conservative MP Lord Hugh Cecil.
Jackson failed to be elected, with Cecil retaining the seat by a majority of nearly 2,000 votes. Jackson was Board of Works. In 1900 the vestry was abolished and the County of London was divided into twenty-eight metropolitan boroughs, with the first elections to the new borough councils held 1 November 1900. Jackson was elected to Greenwich Borough Council as a Progressive Party councillor, representing the South Ward, he was mayor of Greenwich in 1902–1903. At the general election of 1906 Jackson again stood at Greenwich in opposition to Lord Hugh Cecil; the Conservative vote was split between Cecil, who advocated free trade and Ion Hamilton Benn who stood as an advocate of Tariff Reform. Jackson won the seat for the Liberals with a majority over Benn 1,341 votes. Cecil finished a poor third. Jackson only served one term in parliament, was defeated by Benn at the next election in January 1910. Jackson resumed his legal practice, he retired to Blackheath, where he died in June 1938, aged 88. Following a funeral at St Alfege Church, Greenwich, he was buried in Shooters Hill Cemetery.
Jackson and his wife, née Bell, had nine children, one of whom died in infancy. Their sixth, William Henry Jackson, was an Anglican priest who served as a missionary in Burma, invented Burmese Braille. Not long after the birth of William, the family moved to Stobcross Lodge, at Crooms Hill, where they remained for around two decades. Mary Ann's death in late July or early August 1931 preceded that of William, in December that year. Leigh Rayment's Historical List of Mary Chesmer. An Ambassador in Bonds: The Story of William Henry Jackson, Priest, of the Mission to the Blind of Burma. Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Richard Jackson