You may have read in the national press recently about the sensitivity of tree felling in places like Sheffield, & Plymouth.
Well, on 6th March, a local resident was concerned to see heavy machinery operating among the trees in Randall’s Field (Arbor Centre side of Upshott Lane). These trees are subject to a 2014 Tree Preservation Order, but this Order allows dead trees/deadwood to be removed sensitively and only after approval by the WBC Tree Officer.
Immediate contact was made with the landowner Burhill Estates and the relevant authorities were also informed. Burhill Estates stopped the work immediately.
Inspection indicated that the existing badger setts had been extensively disturbed, including in two cases heavy tracked machinery driving straight over and, apart from the marked dead trees, some live trees, mainly young ones, had also been chopped down or simply driven over.
The Forum is aware that after a tree fell onto Upshott Lane last year, local residents were concerned about the dead trees, mainly elms, falling again onto Upshott Lane and had contacted Surrey County Council.
The Forum is very concerned about the possible mid to long-term damage to the badgers, the healthy trees and habitat lost and the impact on the ecology of the surrounding area and has written to Burhill estates expressing the Forum’s concerns.
Burhill Estates arranged a meeting on the windy afternoon of 13th March which local wildlife experts, Cllr Peter Graves and Pyrford Forum Chair attended. Ironically one of the dead trees did lose a branch and fell onto Upshott Lane.
The recent PNF Nature Surveys showing the known badger setts in/around Randall’s field and Aviary Field were shared with Burhill Estates.
A more ecologically sensitive way forward has been agreed such that they will:-
- Move brush away from badger setts to create further habitat for reptiles/insects and ground nesting birds
- Any movement or further clearance of dead wood would be done with manual or quiet electrical hand tools.
- Accept an offer for training of their staff from a local badger expert
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