Andover residents raise concerns about tree clearance operation at nature reserve

by | Apr 5, 2016 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

The Andover Advertiser has reported that residents have raised concerns about the impact an “excessive” tree clearance operation will have on one of Andover’s nature reserves.

The ground clearance project is currently being carried out at Anton Lakes Nature Reserve by Southern Electric in order to ensure the safety of the pylons and power cables running through the conservation site.

As part of the programme, a strip of land of approximately 1.5km in length is being stripped back to ground level – clearing all trees and scrub – to the rear of Lawrence Close, Poynters Close, Ward Close and Cusden Drive to protect the power lines.

The operation is part of a wider project to clear trees and vegetation from high voltage lines across an 85km distance between Marchwood and Andover. The power lines running through the nature reserve serve thousands of homes across the town but residents have questioned whether the extent of the clearance has been necessary.

Poynters Close homeowners Kevin and Jean Ginger moved into their property 34 years ago before the fields behind became Anton Lakes.

Mr Ginger said: “We understand that the trees underneath the cables need to be cleared but our argument is why they are clearing most of the natural ground scrub in a nature reserve as well. What they are doing is excessive.

“This is our bit of countryside and it feels like they are taking it away. Some of the birds have started nesting now spring is here, they should have done this in the new year.”

The clearing of the trees has also forced the family to install a higher fence at the rear of the property to prevent intruders.

Lawrence Close resident Ruth Chick added: “It feels rather intimidating having the rear of my property exposed. The irony is that it is a nature reserve and they have messed around with nature.”

The programme follows a consultation with Test Valley Borough Council who own the land and granted permission for the clearance, but residents are questioning why they allowed SSE to remove so much vegetation.

To read the full story please visit the Andover Advertiser website by clicking here

Image courtesy of Andover Advertiser