Forestry Commission steps in to investigate tree felling in Bathford

by | Apr 7, 2015 | Featured Slider, Latest, News

The Forestry Commission is investigating the felling of over 30 trees at a 100-year-old meadowland in Bathford.

Residents at Meadow Park shocked by the felling are waiting for a report to see if the trees have been chopped down illegally.

Workers began clearing the woodland on March 23, but stopped work on March 25 after residents contacted the Forestry Commission.

The Forestry Commission is responsible for protecting and expanding Britain’s woods and forests, and is able to prosecute for illegal tree felling.

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A felling licence from the Forestry Commission is needed in order to fell five cubic metres of timber in one calendar quarter, for example January to March.

Until 2006, residents at Meadow Park paid West of England Estate Management Limited for ongoing maintenance of the woodland as part of their lease.

However, at the end of 2007 the land was sold. The Forestry Commission is now investigating who owns the land.

Hope Blamire lives at Meadow Park and said the woodland has been a community amenity area since the houses were built in 1964.

She said: “When I moved here five or six years ago, I was told I would have to pay this maintenance fee to pay for the upkeep of the footpath.

“It started three weeks ago when they started thinning out the trees claiming they were removing dangerous trees with ivy.

“It’s horrible and everyone is up in arms about it. If they take away anything over five cubic metres they must have a felling licence.”

Experts at the Forestry Commission are putting a report together and have been up to the site to number the tree stumps and measure the volume of the trees.

A Forestry Commission spokesman said: “We are investigating reports of a suspected unlicensed tree felling on land adjacent to Meadow Park, Bathford, including measuring the stumps and remaining felled trees.

“When we know who the landowner/manager and contractors are, they will be advised not to fell any more trees on the site, and a decision on enforcement action will be made by our National Office for England.”