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MSA responds to Forestry Commission consultation

The Motor Sports Association (MSA) is calling on the motor sport community to ensure that the sport’s voice is clearly heard as the UK government considers the future management and ownership of the public forest estate in England.

Following the publication of the coalition government’s proposals yesterday (Thursday), the MSA is now urging all motor sport competitors, businesses and supporters to get involved with the public consultation which will run until 21 April 2011.

All the relevant documentation can be found online at http://www.forestry.gov.uk and the response survey can be completed online or in hard copy format. Interested parties from across the UK can legitimately get involved in this consultation if they use or might use the forest estate in England or could be affected by any potential change in policy.

Alongside the public consultation, the Motor Sports Association will be making its case directly to the relevant government departments to ensure that the interests of the motor sport community are championed and that ministers, advisors and civil servants are fully aware of the importance of forest access.

The facts and figures:
• Total revenue collected and paid to the Forestry Commission (2010): £821,645
• Number of motor sport events held on Forestry Commission land (2010): 41
• The average road bill of a Stage Rally (2010): £25,950
• Value to the UK economy of the UK motor sport industry (Source: MIA): £4.5bn
 
Colin Hilton, MSA Chief Executive:
“We have been waiting with interest to see what the government would propose and we are encouraged by their insistence that current rights of access for leisure and recreation will be preserved and perhaps even legislated for. However, we cannot be complacent and it is vital that everyone involved in the sport takes the trouble not only to fill in the consultation document, but also to make a personal approach to their local MP.

“We accept that motor sport may be regarded as a minority activity, but it brings a great deal of revenue to the Forestry Commission and it helps to sustain one of the most successful British industries. Access to the forests is absolutely critical to the sport and we will be making representations directly to the government to ensure that they realise the importance of the public forest estate to our activity.”

Release MSA11-013: 28 January 2011
For media information only. No regulatory value.