Last year the South Hams Society helped to support a resident’s group in the wake of the illegal wood clearance in Seymour Drive on the edge of Dartmouth. As the landowner brought forward planning application after planning application in an effort to develop the cleared land, the Society submitted letters of Objection to the District Council and worked to raise awareness of the illegality of what had happened. That legal battle is ongoing and the woodland has yet to be restored.
Earlier this year, numerous trees were unlawfully felled at Ilton Copse in the Parish of Malborough near Blanksmill. The motive is thought to be development and, again, no permissions were in place. When there was the chance to make a temporary Tree Protection Order permanent, the Society asked its members to write to the South Hams District Council’s Tree Officer in support of protecting what was left of this ancient copse. We await the outcome of that call to action.
Last week, we heard of a further clearance at Capton Wood near Dittisham, also reported by the BBC
This time the motive is perhaps less clear but the damage is undeniable. Photos of the cleared site are shocking and local residents are said to be very upset. As with Seymour Drive, the Forestry Commission is iolved and also, in the light of likely destruction of wild life, Devon and Cornwall Police are investigating a potential wildlife crime. Dittisham Parish Council are encouraging anyone with information or photos of the site to come forward: https://dittishamparish.co.uk/clearance-of-woodland-in-capton-wood/
If, like us, you are appalled by these acts of rural vandalism, you can respond to the temporary Tree Preservation Order (TPO 1014), which the District Council has put on what remains of Capton Wood, by asking for this to be made permanent. Until 26 May, you can send this request to the SHDC Tree Officer by e-mail on: TPO@swdevon.gov.uk.
** PLEASE ACT, ALL OUR TREES ARE PRECIOUS AND SHOULD BE PROTECTED **