TREE surgeons working for Bradford on Avon City Council are pushing ahead with tadpole and coppice plans in the former Becky Addy Wood despite protest from campaigners.
Members of the Friends of Becky Addy Wood stood in front of trees today which arborists plan to prune with a chainsaw.
They started work this afternoon despite FROBAW’s pleas to delay work for a week while negotiations take place for them to buy the wood.
FROBAW’s Chris Humphries said: ‘The City Council is continuing with so-called ’emergency work’ at Becky Addy Wood.
“FROBAW had the trees surveyed on Monday June 6th by a highly qualified QTRA Tree Risk Assessor/Inspector.
“Our expert has written a report stating that only a few works need to be done in the woods, namely the removal of a few branches overhanging the public right-of-way.
“The results of this survey contrast sharply with the results of the council’s infamous October survey which was carried out at the wrong time of year. Trees declared ‘dead’ or ‘dying’ in this survey are now in full leaf. .
“We have also done a rigorous attendance count which shows attendance at approximately 1.9 people per hour at one of the busiest times of year for public wood use.
“I have warned the city council, asked them to suspend work with immediate effect and have asked for a meeting tomorrow. The council is proceeding with its work.
“They’re doing this in an ancient, historic forest with fragile wildlife habitat and endangered species.
“They are doing this at the height of the season for bird nesting, bat breeding and plant growth. They are potentially breaking environmental laws.”
The council carried out a tree survey last October which showed that up to 152 trees identified for felling are suffering from ash dieback disease or pose a safety risk to people walking through the wood.
But FROBAW activists say the work will cause ‘irreparable damage’ to the timber and that the survey of the trees was carried out at the wrong time of year.
They say the council ignored advice from the UK government, the Woodland Trust, the UK Wildlife Trusts and the Tree Council, all of which advise on summer surveys.