Ranger set to return to Bricket Wood common

PUBLISHED: 16:40 11 August 2009 | UPDATED: 14:19 06 May 2010

Cllr Sue Featherstone called for a new ranger to deal with problems like rotten branches

Cllr Sue Featherstone called for a new ranger to deal with problems like rotten branches

A RANGER looks likely to patrol a local common again after the council climbed-down on a decision to do away with the post. Bricket Wood common has been left without a ranger since Peter Neal, who had been in the post for 32 years, retired recently. St St

A RANGER looks likely to patrol a local common again after the council climbed-down on a decision to do away with the post.

Bricket Wood common has been left without a ranger since Peter Neal, who had been in the post for 32 years, retired recently.

St Stephen Parish Council, the common's management committee and the landowner Henry Holland-Hibbert were not consulted on the plans to make the post redundant and all wrote to the district council voicing concerns.

Parish councillor Sue Featherstone said at the time: "Peter was on call 24/7 and was frequently called out, often late at night, to deal with problems.

"Trees, wildlife, rights of way, flora and fauna, were always under his watchful eye. Regular users of the common knew who to contact in case of emergency."

The council has now said that it is looking into providing a new ranger in light of the feedback received and apologised for the lack of consultation.

Richard Shwe, head of culture and community development, said that they were looking into a number of options, including the creation of a new full-time post to cover Bricket Wood Common and other natural spaces in the district.

He added: "However, this will be dependent on securing funding revenue from a number of organisations and partners."

Parish councillor David Brannen, who lives next to the common and is the vice chairman of the Bricket Wood Common Joint Management Committee, welcomed the news.

But he hopes the council decide to employ a ranger exclusive to Bricket Wood, which he believes will prove even more essential if plans to graze cattle there come to fruition.

He said: "Reinstating the post is the only sensible decision they can reach. Peter was the eyes and the ears of the common - without a ranger things can go undetected.

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