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U.K. Government Drops Plan to Sell Public Forests, Guardian Says

The U.K. government has abandoned plans to change the ownership of 258,000 hectares of publicly owned English woodland, the Guardian reported.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman will announce tomorrow that a consultation on the sale of woodland will be terminated after a campaign of protest that united environmentalists with politicians across the spectrum, the newspaper said.

An online petition against the plans has been signed by more than 531,000 people, the Guardian said.

Prime Minister David Cameron has told Spelman to set up an independent panel with environmentalists to work out a consensus on improving public access to forests and biodiversity in them, the newspaper said.

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