Its a bit odd that people don't trust their politicians but don't seem to mind them spending their money or running things into the ground in their name.
I would love to know how many of these folks singning the petition live in the city? and/or wealthy people living close by nimbying. I can tell them some of the best walks, nature spotting, trekking, biking are in the Peak are privately run by the water companies and other private bodies.
The Australians are world leaders in this type of thing, maybe we should copy best practice?
There is no reason at all that commercial or voluntary organisations cannot run forests for commercial gain or otherwise and also take into account public access and wildlife preservation and promotion, opposition is pure ideological nonsense.
The Labour Party are hopping mad about it not because they are opposed to it, they started the process in government, its part of a bigger battle. They want people to feel part of the state, if the big society idea takes off and people get used to thinking off the state as the legal apparatus of government and not something they own or are (which they dont and are not) then that makes selling their statist ideas all that much harder.
This is the idea that is at the core of their being.
"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State." Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel