29 NOVEMBER 1940, Page 11

State Ownership He wants to see other changes in the

organisation of English forestry, among them State-ownership of forests. Again the facts are interesting. In England the total forest area represents only 5.6 per cent. of the total land area ; of that area 86.4 per cent. is under private ownership. Between 1914 and 1918 a million acres of English woodland were cut ; only a part was replanted. The standard of silviculture, as the result of State-ownership, is greatly superior to that under the English system ; yet, according to Professor Troup, any opposition to State-control comes not hum private owners whose woods are well preserved, but from those whose woods are neglected. Mr. Godwin calls attention to the grave condition of Savernake Forest after the great frosts of early 5940; to the grave situation where vast quantities of fallen timber can lie rotting during a war in which the transport of coal is a major problem. Every countryman can see that scandalous state of affairs repeated, in a smaller way, in the copses and woods and parks of his own parish. And, like me, he will be forced to agree with Mr. Godwin's melancholy conclusion that unless we act at once we shall wake up after the war " to find the country denuded of its forest wealth." H. E. BATes.