Over 100 trees to be chopped down on Harpenden Common under town council plans

PUBLISHED: 15:37 26 November 2018

Harpenden Common Golf Club. Picture: Danny Loo

Harpenden Common Golf Club. Picture: Danny Loo


Over 100 trees at Harpenden Common Golf Club are to be chopped down.

Harpenden Town Council’s application to remove 106 trees was approved in July, but was only recently uncovered by club members.

Birch trees, hornbeam trees, hawthorn trees and 58 oak trees, many of which are said to be mature, are all slated for felling

Club member John Green said: “Mature ones are the worry because once they are gone they are gone.”

Thirty-two of the oak trees, along with six hawthorn threes and two birch trees, will be recycled as biomass under the plans.

The felling permission from St Albans district council is valid for two years from July 13, 2018 and the work is scheduled to start in the New Year

The club had its AGM on Thursday, when the council’s plan was discussed and several members asked for it to be reviewed.

Harpenden Common Golf Club general manger Terry Crump said: “I will be talking to Harpenden Town Council about some amendments.”

Council clerk Carl Cheevers said: “Our current programme of Common works includes two types of items: firstly, those that are essential in delivering our management plan objectives and secondly, those that have been flagged to us by the golf club as being issues that are impacting on their management of course.

“The focus for this work is on improving our acidic grassland and meadow areas.

“As set out in the management plan, the acidic grassland and meadow areas on Harpenden Common are a scarce and important habitat locally.

“Nationally, areas of acid grass and heathland are recognised as scarce and fragmented habitats that are gradually succumbing to scrub and woodland encroachment and shading, as well as development pressures, and changing agricultural practices.

“Our management plan aims are to conserve, enhance and increase areas of species-rich meadow and acid grassland.

“As Harpenden Common is in a Conservation Area we are required to gain approval from the Trees and Woodlands Department at St Albans district council.

“We have already engaged this department and secured permissions for all the works.”

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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