I have just sent this email to the South West Forestry Commission team, which is the landowner of this East Hill woodland …
Dear South West Forestry Commission officer
I was walking at East Hill today, one of my favourite local walks and was dismayed to see signs up, between Core Hill woods and East Hill strips, stating that a very large area of deciduous woodland was to be felled.
While I dislike unnecessary felling of woodland, particularly as trees play such a big role in combating climate change and helping nature thrive, I reluctantly accept that this work will be undertaken for commercial reasons.
However, what really concerns me is that the nesting season is fast approaching and it was very apparent on my walk this morning that the birds are already starting to nest as these woods here are alive with their song and they can be seen flitting from tree to tree, very actively searching for a mate.
You will be well aware of the strong guidance from a range of organisations, including Natural England, on not conducting felling operations during the nesting season – and while we are officially four weeks away from its start, it seems inappropriate and unnecessary to be undertaking this work at this sensitive time.
Below are the necessary links detailing the guidance on felling during the nesting season, that you will already be aware of.
I look forward to hearing from you confirming that you will suspend operations until August, to avoid any disruption and distress to wildlife.
Devon County Councillor – Otter Valley Ward