Our greenspaces are not for sale!


This is no time to panic; but we must keep an eye out for what may be on the horizon.

In the last couple of days there’s been a degree of what can only be described as panic locally and on social media about the future of Cannock Chase, Chasewater and other Staffordshire Country Parks.

Reports that they are all to be sold off are a huge overreaction and scaremongering – there is an ongoing process underway consulting on future management of these vital greenspaces, but no, they are most definitely not up for sale.

I am indeed worried about the future of these places, which the vast majority of readers will know I love and care for passionately; I remain concerned about the future of national parks and access land generally; but unless the government resurrect previously abandoned plans, Staffordshire’s emerald jewels will not be sold.

We must remain vigilant; take part in consultations, and keep a weather eye on the politicians, but as the following press release issued yesterday by Staffordshire County Council states, there is cause for watchful concern, but not alarm.

Cannock Chase and Chasewater not for sale

Posted on Wednesday 17th June 2015

Commenting on suggestions that Cannock Chase may be sold, Mark Winnington, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Economy, Environment and Transport, said: ‘There are no plans to sell Cannock Chase. We are custodians of the Chase for this and future generations and at the moment we are simply looking at the best way to manage this country park and others across the county.

‘We have been discussing these ideas, publicly, since 2014. Currently we’re talking to those groups with an interest in the country parks and the intention is we will have a full public consultation later this year.

‘The process has been completely open and will continue to be so. There are lots of ideas under discussion and what may work for one site, will not work for another.

‘Sensibly, within the report, there’s an option to sell off sites which are of no benefit to the public. We fully expect the only interest for these sites to be from community user groups and parish councils.

‘I reiterate Cannock Chase and Chasewater will not be sold.’

There are additional reports here and here.

Thanks to all who contacted me with tipoffs and questions; I hope this answers some of them. I don’t take this a gospel – we must take care; but the panic as evidenced in the last couple of days on social media is unproductive and misguided.


Sites like Chasewater are vital to our future – we must be prepared to defend them, but we must also listen and take part in process.

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7 Responses to Our greenspaces are not for sale!

  1. Paul Vincent says:

    The words from Mark Winnington’s response which set my suspicions twitching are these: “…within the report, there’s an option to sell off sites which are of no benefit to the public.”. The potential weasel-clause there is how exactly they would determine a site to be of no benefit to the public. That’s inevitably going to involve a subjective value-judgement, and would be the potential thin end of a potential wedge. You’re right – no panic needed, but let’s all remain vigilant.

  2. Ade Reid says:

    I seem to remember an article on Central News about 4 or 5 years ago relating to this issue. So it was obviously being talked about then.

  3. Ade Reid says:

    Ah yes just found it.Very informative and written with a passion.Nice one Bob..

  4. Ann-Marie Clay says:

    there’s a petition on a site called 38 degrees to try to stop this

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