Trade union Unite has said that plans by the government to sell a number of England's forests as part of its deficit reduction plans will lead to the loss of hundreds of "green jobs".

The government has said that it will be abolishing the Forestry Commission, which currently presides over 1,500 forests, which attract 40 million visits a year, and generate two billion pounds a year, Unite claims.

Over three thousand people are currently employed by the Forestry Commission, most of whom are employed to manage the forests.

Ian Waddell, Unite National Officer, said, "We are completely opposed to the privatisation of our forests. It undoubtedly means a loss of public access to these areas for recreation. The Forestry Commission is good value for money to the public at a cost of only 30p per UK citizen per year."