Why were gates changed at Heartwood site in Sandridge?

PUBLISHED: 15:00 25 January 2017

The new wooden gates at Heartwood Forest.

The new wooden gates at Heartwood Forest.

Archant

A woodland visitor has criticised the decision to replace steel gates leading to the main car park with wooden ones.

The new wooden gates at Heartwood Forest.The new wooden gates at Heartwood Forest.

Norman Dayton, 76, who is retired and lives in St Albans, said of the gates at Heartwood Forest in Sandridge: “The previous steel gates were perfectly adequate and with care and maintenance would have lasted at least 25 years. I bet they cost the best part of £5,000.

“They have been replaced by wooden ones which I suspect will need replacing within 10 years.

“Is this a vanity project on behalf of the Woodland Trust? Have they got money to burn?”

Site manager for the Woodland Trust Louise Neicho said: “We have introduced new gates to replace ones that were no longer fit for purpose.

“The old gates were heavy and over time have dropped on their hinges making them impossible to open and close, particularly in cold weather.

“Repairs had been made but these did not last so the decision was taken to replace them with wooden gates that are more in-keeping with the woodland surroundings, and will be much easier and safer for staff and volunteers to open and close.

“We want to make sure Heartwood remains accessible for all our visitors and take this into account with any changes made at the site.”

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