Public consultation on plans to fell five hectares of ancient woodland in Peterborough

A public consultation is underway into potentially felling over five hectares of ancient woodland in Peterborough.

Tuesday, 17th August 2021, 5:00 am
The area where the proposed tree felling would take place.

The consultation is being undertaken by The Forestry Commission at the request of Milton Estate and is open until next Tuesday (August 24).

The proposed felling would incorporate a total area of 5.28 hectares inside Grimeshaw Wood, just outside Bretton. The site is close to housing in Westhawe, Eyrescroft, Barnstock and Benland and is bisected by Bretton Way.

The nature reserve on the western outskirts of Peterborough is classed as an ancient semi-natural woodland and is home to many flora such as nettle-leaved bellflower.

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The Peterborough Telegraph is seeking clarification of what the plans for the site are, should the trees be felled, but many residents have expressed concern that it could open the site up for further housing development.

A petition opposing the felling of the trees has been set up, just a month after residents in Bretton launched a campaign to save a 600-year-old oak tree, that was part of the original Grimeshaw Wood, from being felled by Peterborough City Council.

Campaigners said: “We cannot find any information regarding the future plan of this area but as there is no replanting programme mentioned residents fear that eventually planning permission may be granted to build more housing.

“Bretton is already at full capacity. Residents have problems with getting doctors appointments, places in schools etc.

“The local community haS already lost their only secondary school (Bretton Woods Community School) to housing.

“This is the last remaining part of our ancient woodland, bearing in mind the existing traffic on Bretton Way, the last thing we need is the removal of pollution-cleansing mature trees and more housing.

“Surely we cannot let this happen. Peterborough is meant to be “The environmental Capital of The Fens.” This woodland is used by the local community including school outings and is well known for its nature.

“Residents often see deer in these woods and if this is felled it would dramatically change the structure and diversity of this area.”

To find out more about the consultation, visit the Forestry Commission’s public register and search using case reference: FL-017-2108-2021.