"It is touching to see my fellow naturalists rushing to support the Forestry Commission in its hour of need. Not out of any great love, it must be said, but as Hilaire Belloc admonished us: 'always keep ahold of nurse, for fear of finding something worse.' The Commission's future, you may have read, is under review. Privatisation of the state forests – worth more than one billion pounds – seems a likely outcome. We have been down this road before."