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The Sheep Liaison Group has visited a number of non-forested sites in the Forest of Dean as part of a review of all these areas, known in the Dean as Forest Waste.
The Sheep Liaison Group consists of representatives from the Commoners Association, the Forestry Commission, the District Council, the County Council and the Police and is chaired by local JP and Verderer Mr Bob Jenkins. They meet regularly to review sheep issues in the Dean.
The Group look at non-forested areas and how the Forestry Commission manages this land, including the role of local sheep graziers shepherding their sheep to maintain the open character of the Forest Waste.
Some important wildlife is dependent on this grazing and Simon Glover of Butterfly Conservation said:
“Grazing is particularly important to maintain the populations of special species such as small pearl-bordered butterflies in the Dean.”
The review is considering the value of Forest Waste for landscape, ecology and recreation, the extent of current grazing, other potential management regimes, complaints received and the links between grazing sites.
The review forms part of the requirements of The 2007 High Court Order, which addressed problems with sheep grazing in the communities. Priority areas for the review are Bream, Parkend and Yorkley but other areas are included too.
NOTES TO EDITORS
The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. Further information can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/england
Heather Lilley, Public Affairs Manager, Forest of Dean District, Forestry Commission, tel 01594 833057.