Amanda Milling MP raises Cannock Chase in ancient woodland debate

Amanda Milling, Member of Parliament for Cannock Chase, has spoken in a debate on ancient woodland and used the opportunity to speak of the importance of Cannock Chase to the local area.

This general debate on the protection of ancient woodland and trees was timely as the Cannock Chase MP had been on a tour of the Chase only the week before with the team from Cannock Chase AONB.  This tour was an opportunity for Amanda to see the variety of the Chase’s landscape and habitat as well discuss some of the challenges faced in terms of balancing human use of the Chase with the protection of the natural environment.

This debate gave the MP for Cannock Chase the opportunity to talk about the contribution Cannock Chase makes to the local economy, local life as well as talk about the need to ensure visitors use the Chase in a responsible way.

Amanda Milling said: “We are incredibly lucky to have the Chase on our doorstep.  It is a beautiful landscape and there are lots of activities on offer for visitors and locals  to enjoy.  Whilst I am keen to encourage people to make the most of having this wonderful natural environment on their doorstep, it is also important that we do so in a responsible way.  We need to ensure that the Chase is preserved for generations to come. I would like to thank the team at Cannock Chase AONB for taking me on a tour which gave me a valuable insight for the debate.

Amanda added: “We need to protect and conserve the Chase which was designated an AONB in 1958 because of its beautiful landscape, wildlife and history.   There are some simple measures we can take, for instance, parking at the designated parking areas, sticking to the trails and paths that are signposted and also washing boots to avoid plant and tree diseases being transmitted.”

Amanda also took the opportunity to encourage people to take part in Staffordshire County Council’s consultation regarding the management of the countryside estate, including parts of Cannock Chase.  She said: “Cannock Chase is not for sale but the Council is looking how best it can manage the site. While it they recognise that the current ownership and management of Cannock Chase is seen to be the most appropriate option, there are other managements setups the public can voice their opinion on. I know that, like me, the residents of Cannock Chase are passionate about the Chase and I would encourage them to take part in the consultation to ensure their voice is heard.”

Staffordshire County Council is looking at a number of ways in which the Staffordshire County Council sites are managed. It has stated that its preferred option for Cannock Chase is the current setup, however it would like to know what the pubic think. Anyone wanting to take part in the consultation can do so by calling 0300 111 8000, e-mailing countrysideestatereview@staffordshire.gov.uk or visiting http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/yourcouncil/consultationandfeedback/consultation-and-feedback.aspx  until 24th January.

You can watch the whole Westminster Hall debate here - http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/7b6e79e2-f42b-48f4-a0e2-e908c5cb28a9

You can see Amanda’s speech here - http://goo.gl/HXRdRz