With the backing of local residents, Northumberland County Council is in the process of making a provisional Tree Preservation Order on the 8.5 hectare Goodie Patchy woodland. The area, on the south bank of the Tweed estuary in Berwick, provides a link between the communities of Tweedmouth and Spittal.
It is also the only major area of woodland in the estuary area. The patch is particularly popular with dog walkers. Ross Weddle, from the local residents association which has been campaigning to protect the site, said: “The St. Boisil’s Residents Association is really happy that the process is now underway to protect the trees and that the council has listened to the collective will of the community.”
After the provisional Tree Preservation Order is in place, there will be a statutory period of consultation with the local community to let local residents put forward their views about the proposal to introduce a Tree Preservation Order on the land.
Councillor Allan Hepple, cabinet member accountable for planning strategy at Northumberland County Council, said: “The woodland has dominated this part of the estuary for centuries and contains species of ash, sycamore, apple, plum and wild cherry.
“The introduction of a provisional order has the full backing of local residents in Tweedmouth and Spittal who have future plans to turn it into England’s most northerly community woodland.”
A Tree Preservation Order is made by a local planning authority to protect specific trees, groups of trees or woodlands in the interests of amenity.
An Order makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot or cause intentional damage or destruction of the trees protected by it without the local planning authority’s permission.
Concerns have been raised in the past about the potential for infringement on the woodland by developers. A Tree Preservation Order would make the possibility for encroachment impossible.