Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has added its voice to calls for the UK government to ditch plans to sell off the country's woodlands, describing the proposals a "government-sponsored jumble sale".
In a strongly worded statement, the charity's executive director in the UK, John Sauven, hit out at measures which could see national treasures such as Sherwood Forest and the Forest of Dean go under the hammer.
The proposed Public Bodies Bill would give the ConDem coalition the power to sell off 100 per cent of publicly-owned woodland, currently enjoyed by walkers, horse-riders and doggers.
"Britain's woodlands are precious for millions of people, a source not only of great curiosity but also great fulfilment. They offer important habitats to much loved wildlife, as well as enjoyment and beauty to families up and down the country," Sauven said in the statement.
"It's no surprise that there has been an upswell of public concern at the prospect that our Island's natural life might be auctioned off at a government-sponsored jumble sale. The government must now guarantee not only the complete right of access to all our forests but also the budget for their protection and restoration."
The call from Greenpeace comes after campaign group 38Degrees this week announced that its petition against the sale, launched earlier this month, had collected more than a quarter of a million signatures.
In a recent poll conducted by YouGov, 84 per cent of those questioned supported the forests being kept under public ownership.
Public consultation on the proposed legislation lasts until 21st April - so if you care about your nation's woodlands, now's the time to speak up!