UK: 100 trees unnecessarily chopped ruins Suffolk village’s charm

A IDYLLIC Suffolk village has had its picture postcard image ruined
after nearly 100 trees were felled in two weeks. The woodland ran
along one side of the lane through Wixoe and was blocking villagers’
view of Wixoe Pumping Station. Villagers were upset and angry after
the willow trees were removed to make cricket bats and also avoid the
spread of watermark disease, which is deadly to trees.

Leslie Nicoll,
who lives in Wixoe, said: “They have laid waste to the whole area,
slaughtered the lot and knocked down everything in sight. “It looks
like a First World War battlefield. “That wood formed a very efficient
screen so the pumping station was behind the woods. “Now it’s there in
your face.” A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency, which owns the
land, said the trees were planted more than 25 years ago by Wright’s
cricket bat company with a view to the tres being felled for use as
bats once they reached maturity, after about seven or eight years.

It
appears the area was forgotten about until watermark disease, which
kills the trees, was identified in some of the willows. By law, these
trees had to be felled and burned on site. A site visit identified
others as posing a health and safety risk. Other, mature, non-diseased
trees were identified for felling for use as cricket bats at the same
time. But villagers are angry the willows have been cut down after 25
years of standing alongside the lane. Mr Nicoll said: “It’s an
ecological disaster.” The Environment Agency said 150 new trees would
be planted but confirmed it would again be with the aim of Wright’s
turning them into cricket bats when they reached maturity. The
agency’s spokeswoman said: “The Wixoe site is a plantation and willow
is a crop. “It has been planted, cultivated and now felled.”
http://www.haverhillecho.co.uk/news/Villagers39-anger-at-39slaughter39-of.4855787.jp

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