IN their eighth annual report, the Forestry Commissioners give a record of the work accomplished in Britain during the year ending Sept. 30, 1927. The planting programme, which has formed the chief of their activities, was continued. On the subject of finance, the report shows that out of the total of £3½ millions sanctioned in 1919 for a ten years' programme to be paid before Mar. 31, 1929, £3,014,400 had been allotted up to Sept. 30, 1927, leaving £485,600 still to be provided. The Treasury had since intimated that this balance would be made available for the financial year 1928–29, which, with a balance of £136,000 estimated to be in hand on April 1, 1928, gives a sum of £621,600 for the possible expenditure during 1928–29. The land acquisitions amounted to 36,039 acres during the year, of which 30,755 acres were classified as plantable. The total land acquired between 1920 and 1927 amounted to 391,511 acres, of which 244,838 acres were classified at the time of acquisition as plantable; 155,208 acres of this latter land are leased and 109,630 acres have been purchased. Of the plantable area, 140,756 acres (57 per cent) are situated in England and Wales and 104,082 acres (43 per cent) in Scotland. In spite of the smaller amount of planting land in the latter, the total acreage, leased and purchased, acquired in Scotland amounts to 233,667 acres as against 157,844 acres in England and Wales. It is at least open to doubt whether the Commissioners are acting wisely in thus saddling themselves with so large an area of unplantable land in the early years of their existence.
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Report of the Forestry Commission. Nature 122, 978–979 (1928). https://doi.org/10.1038/122978b0