Welwyn Hatfield Council accused of ‘murdering’ woodland

PUBLISHED: 16:32 09 February 2012

trees cut down

trees cut down

Archant

MIGHTY oak trees being felled in WGC are a ‘desecration’ of nature according to angry walkers.

Jane Rook, of Honeycroft, WGC, said: “What is going on a Sherrardspark Wood – it’s being desecrated.

“There are machines bulldozing trees, they’re making such a mess.

“Last time they said it was to pick up rhododendrons, which are weeds, but this time they’re knocking down perfectly good oaks.”

Ms Rook, who walks her dog at the wood twice a day and also watches birds there there, said the action would harm undergrowth and bramble-dwelling animals including greater and lesser-spotted woodpeckers.

And Heidi Butcher, of Monkswood, said her grandchildren had asked “Why are they murdering the woods?”

She added: “They’ve decided to napalm it.

“It looks like a road going through it.”

But Welwyn Hatfield Council insisted the bulldozing was essential to “encourage regeneration of new trees, especially oak and hornbeam”.

Temporary fencing will also be installed to keep muntjac deer away from seedlings.

A spokeswoman said: “Garrod Walk and the bridleway joining it at its east end has been widened to let in light and sunshine.

“Many of the felled trees will grow again into bushes to provide good wildlife habitat and the majesty of the remaining oak trees left will be clear to all who visit the wood.

“A small bulldozer helps to make light work of moving brushwood into ‘habitat’ piles and a ‘forwarder’ is used to transport logs.”

She added: “The work is necessary in order to maintain this woodland ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’ in favourable conservation condition and has been approved by Natural England and the Forestry Commission.”

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