Fiery Forest meeting with MP Mark Harper over woodland sell-off plans
Hundreds of passionate Forest residents descended on Coleford last night to make their stance clear on the government's forestry proposals.
Although secretary of State Caroline Spelman said last week that England's heritage woodland, including the Forest of Dean, would not be sold-off, she left the door open for it to be taken over by a charitable trust.
Last night's meeting was the first chance residents have had to quiz MP Mark Harper about the controversial proposals, after he previously turned down invitations to attend a meeting in Cinderford and the HOOF (Hands Off Our Forest) rally at Speech House in January.
With more than 100 people crammed into the meeting room inside the town's Main Place building, there were more than 300 sign wielding campaigners stood outside the venue due to its maximised capacity.
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Chants of 'Hands off our Forest' and 'Get Harper out' could be heard throughout the meeting, which ran from 7pm to 9pm.
A strong police presence kept proceedings in order throughout but tempers and emotions ran high in what was a fiery encounter between the public and the MP.
For more see Monday's TiG and The Citizen.
To read how HOOF (Hands Off Our Forest) reported the meeting click here.