Spring now approaches after a busy Autumn and New Year, when we have
had many enjoyable events. We have a full programme of events
for you to enjoy too this Spring.
so do make the most of them and join us whenever you can.
As you may well have noticed, the wood has undergone an extensive
thinning process by the Forestry Commission in recent months. In
total some 3200 tons of timber has been removed, much of it for
bio-fuel, fences and pallets, including thinning many of the Scots
and Corsican pine and removing the Western Hemlock that were
threatening to soon seed and become too invasive. Under our
guidance, the Forestry Commission has carefully preserved growing
broadleaf trees, such as oak, in the wood, and given them more space
and light to develop in unrestricted way with the removal of
conifers that were growing close-by. We also hope that the opening
up of the wood to more sunlight in many places will help encourage
more birdlife within the wood.
have worked closely with the Forestry Commission and its staff since
the formation in 2003 of Hagg Wood as the first Community
Woodland in North Yorkshire in a Forestry Commission woodland.
This itself followed on from our long and sustained campaign to
prevent the wood from being sold off when it was threatened
in 1996, with the risk of public access being severely restricted.
The current Community Woodland status under the Forestry Commission
has meant that we have benefitted considerably from
the expertise of FC staff, which have included not only its forestry
rangers, but also their expert wildlife and environment officer, and
their education and recreation officer who has helped to organise
many valuable events with local school children. In addition, we
have been consulted on important environmental issues related to the
wood by the FC, but have been able to leave the professional
forestry management activities and its costs to them, whilst
ourselves concentrating on our conservation activities in the
bluebell area and elsewhere where there is most scope for progress.
The current arrangement has also helped to ensure public access
within the wood, including over the many well-used tracks that are
not full public footpaths.
Unfortunately, all of this is now under threat from the
proposals recently announced by the Department for Environment, Food
and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for the disposal of the Forestry
Commission’s forests and woodland. There are no guarantees in
DEFRA’s consultation document on these proposals that local woods,
such as Hagg Wood, will not be sold off on the open
market, if there are no fairy godmothers with the considerable
resources needed to buy them and run them for the benefit of the
local community. You can respond to DEFRA’s proposals in its
consultation document (available from 0131-314-6575 or from Linda on
01904-489127) by post, or via its website
ww2.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult. There are online
www.woodlandtrust.org.uk and via
where you can also contact your MP. We will also be circulating
our own local petition. If you value your local community
woodland, now is the time to make your views count. For
further advice and information call 01904-489127 or - 488674.