Trees for the chop

PUBLISHED: 10:07 11 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:48 06 May 2010

SIR, — It was business as usual at the Nomansland Common joint-management committee meeting in Wheathampstead last week. No sign of Cllr Judy Shardlow who walked out of the last meeting on July 30. Five elected representatives soon became three when the t

SIR, - It was business as usual at the Nomansland Common joint-management committee meeting in Wheathampstead last week. No sign of Cllr Judy Shardlow who walked out of the last meeting on July 30.

Five elected representatives soon became three when the two Sandridge councillors said their pieces and left.

Ken Rirsch, who also walked out midway through the July meeting, announced his resignation. Then, surprisingly, Janet Churchard made a short speech confirming that she too had decided to resign from the committee.

The absent ex-members were thus not present to participate in a lively discussion about the next phase of the Management Plan which, according to St Albans District Council (SADC) and its consultant body Countryside Management Service (CMS), requires them to fell another 70 to 80 mature trees on Nomansland Common sometime next year, which is not actually specified in the plan.

The committee chairman Neil Page requested more detail and asked CMS and SADC to defer any irretrievable action until members of the public and users of the Common have been properly consulted.

Considering the outcome of the 2007 public consultation over grazing, the experts might well be a bit nervous.

It does seem ironic that alongside 850 acres of arable land earmarked for a huge new man-made forest, the professional bodies charged with conserving and enhancing Nomansland Common are so keen to fell so many mature, apparently healthy trees.

ROBERT HILL,

East Common, Harpenden.

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