These proposals included clear felling of the Sitka Spruce in the “Dark Wids” area together with some thinning over a major part of the woodland. We had a constructive meeting with the landowner’s representative, Mr Tim Barratt on 23rd July, who tried to explain the reasons behind the proposal.
Over the summer your Community Council have been considering our response, and we agreed at our last meeting to support the application to fell the “Dark Wids” area as long as there are sufficient safeguard for the wildlife, and we are given an opportunity to help nature by replanting native broadleaf trees in the felled area.
We however could not support the current proposal to thin the woods for a variety of reasons, one of which was our view that at the moment the woodland is healthy with a good cover of understorey plants.
We also sought the views of householders with gardens bordering the Gillies Hill woods, and the clear majority wanted a strip cleared to allow more light into their gardens, and we have passed this onto the landowner.
The issue of the landowner removing the “infrastructure” of mountain biking ramps and jumps built by various individuals over the years took up a lot of time at the July meeting. Despite some arguments to the contrary, it appears that the landowner is within his legal powers to do this. Over the summer we have tried to encourage a representative of the mountain biking groups to put forward a representative to argue their case, and recently one of the group volunteered.
The Community Council formal response was also passed to the Forestry Commission who have a responsibility for issuing Felling Licences.