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Trees

wildlife, gardening, environment, Rural living, Pets and Vets
sg31
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Trees

#267239

Postby sg31 » November 26th, 2019, 9:29 am

I live in the Wyre Forest area of Worcestershire. My garden runs alongside a road. At the end of the garden is a field which continues along the road. Between the field and the road is a strip of common land which was sold off generations ago but who owns it is lost in time. It is owned but nobody know the owner is.

On this strip is a lovely mixed tree hedge with a couple of oaks in it. It is a really nice bit of hedging maybe 40' tall in great condition. The farmer who doesn't own these trees has decided he doesn't like them and has decided to rip them out and/or cut them back to the trucks. Yesterday a big digger started ripping them out. The larger trees are now being chainsawed. The large branches are being cut from the top until they fall ripping chunks out of the trunks. We aren't talking tree surgery here.

These trees aren't on the farmers land, they are in good condition.

I knew this was going to happen because a friend of mine was asked to do the job, He refused. I phoned the local Tree Protection Officer at the council 3 weeks ago, I've left numerous messages and emails asking him to come out and see if he thinks they are worth saving. Nothing, no reply.

Work started yesterday, I contacted the parish council, nothing they could do but they did suggest phoning the enforcement department on the local council. I did so, they would send someone out straight away, that was dinnertime yesterday, nobody has been.

I phoned the local Nature conservation council, not their land so they aren't bothered.

Nobody cares. I've run out of people to call. I'm watching trees get butchered and nobody gives a damn. It's so frustrating

I'm not an environmentalist but somethings are just wrong.

Sorry for the rant but I just need to let this anger out in some way.

sg31
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Re: Trees

#267256

Postby sg31 » November 26th, 2019, 10:09 am

Please excuse some of my spelling in the above post. It's an emotional outburst, that's how I feel. I think the situation comes across despite the errors.

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Re: Trees

#267422

Postby bungeejumper » November 26th, 2019, 4:48 pm

Blimey. Our dealings with the tree conservation officers down here in Wiltshire have been flexible, fair, but firm on principles. (There are some trees they don't/didn't regard as sacrosanct, including sycamores and ash, but they're always pretty keen on oaks, and they wouldn't ever let anyone rip up a hedgerow just because it was in the way.) OTOH, they were totally understanding about our wish to remove an 80 year old birch that had rotted right out from the centre.

Reason I mention it is that my wife found our planning application on the council website recently, and it's been fifteen years since we had that tree taken down. There ought to be something on the record for your trees, sg31 - and if not, why not?

I used to know the Wyre forest quite well in my previous life, and I remember that there were drainage issues in some areas. It isn't that somebody's putting in pipes? Either way, though, it's hard to know what jurisdiction your farmer has got over "common land"? Doesn't sound like he's harvesting timber either. He's not on the parish council, by any chance?

BJ

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Re: Trees

#267450

Postby oldapple » November 26th, 2019, 6:03 pm

Always a shame to see the destruction of beautiful trees. I felt like this when my dad had to cut down trees on both sides of a roadside, these being his own trees which made the loveliest avenue in Autumn especially, all because one tree had blown down across the road on a bad bend. He was constantly worried a car and its occupants would be crushed if another one fell the same way.

In N Ireland we can check with Land & Property Services for ownership of land, for a small fee. Not sure this would help in any case at this stage. Have you any younger friends or family who do Facebook - some good campaigns seem to win over enough people to make more noise. Never thought I'd recommend Facebook!

sg31
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Re: Trees

#267455

Postby sg31 » November 26th, 2019, 6:21 pm

bungeejumper wrote:Blimey. Our dealings with the tree conservation officers down here in Wiltshire have been flexible, fair, but firm on principles. (There are some trees they don't/didn't regard as sacrosanct, including sycamores and ash, but they're always pretty keen on oaks, and they wouldn't ever let anyone rip up a hedgerow just because it was in the way.) OTOH, they were totally understanding about our wish to remove an 80 year old birch that had rotted right out from the centre.

Reason I mention it is that my wife found our planning application on the council website recently, and it's been fifteen years since we had that tree taken down. There ought to be something on the record for your trees, sg31 - and if not, why not?

I used to know the Wyre forest quite well in my previous life, and I remember that there were drainage issues in some areas. It isn't that somebody's putting in pipes? Either way, though, it's hard to know what jurisdiction your farmer has got over "common land"? Doesn't sound like he's harvesting timber either. He's not on the parish council, by any chance?

BJ


He's not on the Parish Council. They have tried to stop a number of his excesses but nobody is interested in their views. The District Council is underfunded and understaffed. It doesn't look like they are too bothered about this sort of thing anymore. They will just fight the big fires so to speak and ignore the small ones.

This is a beautiful area of countryside and despite all the politician's campaign promises about the environment they aren't interested once they are elected.

I've felt so frustrated for the last 2 days watching this happen and being powerless to stop it. Eventually a big enough stink might cause someone to look at the damage. They will tut and say 'if only we knew this was happening at the time'. Too late then.

I've not given up. I've lost this battle but I'm going to continue fighting to protect this area before this 'farmer' ruins more of it. He's got some beautiful trees on his land. I will get as many protected as I can

I've actually got an oak with a TPO on my land. At least that is safe.

sg31
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Re: Trees

#267457

Postby sg31 » November 26th, 2019, 6:28 pm

oldapple wrote:Always a shame to see the destruction of beautiful trees. I felt like this when my dad had to cut down trees on both sides of a roadside, these being his own trees which made the loveliest avenue in Autumn especially, all because one tree had blown down across the road on a bad bend. He was constantly worried a car and its occupants would be crushed if another one fell the same way.

In N Ireland we can check with Land & Property Services for ownership of land, for a small fee. Not sure this would help in any case at this stage. Have you any younger friends or family who do Facebook - some good campaigns seem to win over enough people to make more noise. Never thought I'd recommend Facebook!


Thanks for the Facebook suggestion. I've got some ideas I'm chewing over, I'll add that to the list.

The frustrating thing is that trying to do things officially takes so long, it's often too late by the time anything happens.

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Re: Trees

#267494

Postby Dod101 » November 26th, 2019, 8:27 pm

I would be delighted if someone would cut down a couple of old oak trees across the road from where I live. My garden and driveway gets filled with leaves at this time of year and yet I have got to move them. I feel like sending them over the road with a label saying 'Return to Sender'. The trees are in a position that even if they are items of beauty (which they are not) they are most definitely in the wrong situation.

Dod

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Re: Trees

#267521

Postby scottnsilky » November 26th, 2019, 10:14 pm

Good for you, sg, I feel exactly the same way, cutting down trees is just not acceptable, we're supposed to be increasing the number of trees in this country, not chopping them down. An article in Saturday's paper highlighted this, up and down the country. Think about Sheffield, what the council has been responsible for there. I drove down a road the other day, one I hadn't used for a couple of weeks, and the railway embankment had been totally stripped of all it's trees. The reason given in the local paper is, they were a danger to the high voltage power lines, in stormy times, but every single one! Of course, it was done by highly professional arboriculturalists, and we're going to plant thousands more, in 30 years maybe they'll have enough leaves to absorb some carbon dioxide.
dp

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Re: Trees

#267524

Postby supremetwo » November 26th, 2019, 10:46 pm

sg31 wrote:I've actually got an oak with a TPO on my land. At least that is safe.

We have lots of oaks nearby and you just need squirrels - I lose count of the number of oak seedlings in my plot every year from their forgotten burials.

If you get similar, a bit of transplanting?

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Re: Trees

#267570

Postby sg31 » November 27th, 2019, 9:18 am

Dod101 wrote:I would be delighted if someone would cut down a couple of old oak trees across the road from where I live. My garden and driveway gets filled with leaves at this time of year and yet I have got to move them. I feel like sending them over the road with a label saying 'Return to Sender'. The trees are in a position that even if they are items of beauty (which they are not) they are most definitely in the wrong situation.

Dod


I go over the leaves with the ride on mower and it doesn't take long to collect the leaves. Living where I do tree leaves are just a fact of life. If I can I leave a heap of leaves here and there as over wintering areas for the snakes and slow worms.

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Re: Trees

#267575

Postby sg31 » November 27th, 2019, 9:36 am

scottnsilky wrote:Good for you, sg, I feel exactly the same way, cutting down trees is just not acceptable, we're supposed to be increasing the number of trees in this country, not chopping them down. An article in Saturday's paper highlighted this, up and down the country. Think about Sheffield, what the council has been responsible for there. I drove down a road the other day, one I hadn't used for a couple of weeks, and the railway embankment had been totally stripped of all it's trees. The reason given in the local paper is, they were a danger to the high voltage power lines, in stormy times, but every single one! Of course, it was done by highly professional arboriculturalists, and we're going to plant thousands more, in 30 years maybe they'll have enough leaves to absorb some carbon dioxide.
dp


I was born in Sheffield so I know about the councils attitude. One of my favourite areas was Rivelin Valley part of which was a lovely tree lined road which went from an industrial area out towards Manchester. When I was a toddler my dad took me for walks along the bottom of the valley. When I got older I bought a house near there which had views of the valley. My parents and my MIL's ashes were scattered in the valley. It means a lot to me.

On one of the ashes scattering trips the council were in the process of cutting down the trees along the road. Thankfully a group of people had objected and employed a tree specialist to inspect every tree to see which were diseased and which weren't. To give him time to do the work volunteers had climbed the trees to stop them being felled.

It ended in a legal battle I think but I don't know the final outcome. By all means chop down diseased trees but don't chop down good trees just to save money.

As an aside the tree on my land with the TPO is protected, if I want to trim a branch I need to apply to the council for permission* and they will only allow small branches of 2 " diamater to be removed (it could be 3" I can't remember). The Electricity company Western Power don't need any permits and can cut out as many branches as they like and of any size.

*I've never applied but the previous owners did.

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Re: Trees

#267617

Postby bungeejumper » November 27th, 2019, 11:20 am

sg31 wrote:As an aside the tree on my land with the TPO is protected, if I want to trim a branch I need to apply to the council for permission* and they will only allow small branches of 2 " diamater to be removed (it could be 3" I can't remember).

LOL, we have a spreading yew tree against our garden wall, which our predecessor planted as a twig and which is now up to Protected Tree proportions - and it's constantly threatening to knock down our stone wall! (An eight footer, too. There must be twenty tons of it. The wall, I mean.)

I'm afraid we take a proactive approach toward curbing the yew's excesses. If the conservation people didn't like us taking the occasional limb off it, they'd also have to find fault with the fact that we trim it so that poisonous yew berries don't land on the kindergarten on the other side of the wall. :?

In practice, I'd doubt whether they'd quibble. The tree conservation officer has told us that his job is to make sure that people can live happily alongside their trees, and that common-sense rules apply. When we removed our 80 year old birch, he asked us to plant another one (of a smaller variety) within five yards of it. We were more than happy to comply.

BJ

sg31
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Re: Trees

#267646

Postby sg31 » November 27th, 2019, 1:07 pm

bungeejumper wrote:LOL, we have a spreading yew tree against our garden wall, which our predecessor planted as a twig and which is now up to Protected Tree proportions - and it's constantly threatening to knock down our stone wall! (An eight footer, too. There must be twenty tons of it. The wall, I mean.)

I'm afraid we take a proactive approach toward curbing the yew's excesses. If the conservation people didn't like us taking the occasional limb off it, they'd also have to find fault with the fact that we trim it so that poisonous yew berries don't land on the kindergarten on the other side of the wall. :?

In practice, I'd doubt whether they'd quibble. The tree conservation officer has told us that his job is to make sure that people can live happily alongside their trees, and that common-sense rules apply. When we removed our 80 year old birch, he asked us to plant another one (of a smaller variety) within five yards of it. We were more than happy to comply.

BJ


I've got a weeping willow at the back of my house maybe 40 or 50 foot away. It was originally put in in the mid 60's in a patch of wet ground next to the septic tank. The tank has been replaced but the tree remains. It's been cut back over the years to control it It's about 20' away from 'the farmers' barn which he has planning permission to develop. Weeping willow have very invasive roots which can travel 100 foot. He's desperate for me to remove this tree before it damages the barns foundations. After the performance this week I'm not inclined to help him out, particularly as removing it would allow any purchaser to look over my patio and all my back windows. The tree stops this as things stand,

In my more unreasonable moments I'm inclined to cut the tree back so that the roots don't damage my property and let it damage his. At the moment while he's still ripping trees out along the road I'm inclined to be unreasonable.

The butchery of the trees is now in it's 3rd day.

The tree officer only works in this council area 3 half days per week, he covers the rest of the county council area the rest of the week. This is a heavily wooded area. He just doesn't have enough hours to do the job properly.

I've no objection to trimming trees, wholesale devastation is another matter.

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Re: Trees

#267661

Postby PinkDalek » November 27th, 2019, 1:40 pm

sg31 wrote:[Between the field and the road is a strip of common land which was sold off generations ago but who owns it is lost in time. It is owned but nobody know the owner is. ...


What efforts have been made to see if the owner can be established at Land Registry https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry? If generations ago the land may not be registered but trying the basic search https://search-property-information.service.gov.uk/ initially may get you somewhere.

That page states:

This service needs a postcode. If you don't know the postcode, use the Find a Property service instead to search by street address, title number or by using a map.

As you'll see, the Find a Property service is here https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/eservices/FindAProperty/view/QuickEnquiryInit.do

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Re: Trees

#267673

Postby sg31 » November 27th, 2019, 2:17 pm

PinkDalek wrote:
What efforts have been made to see if the owner can be established at Land Registry https://www.gov.uk/search-property-information-land-registry? If generations ago the land may not be registered but trying the basic search https://search-property-information.service.gov.uk/ initially may get you somewhere.

That page states:

This service needs a postcode. If you don't know the postcode, use the Find a Property service instead to search by street address, title number or by using a map.

As you'll see, the Find a Property service is here https://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/eservices/FindAProperty/view/QuickEnquiryInit.do


My solicitor looked into this when I bought the property. There is effectively a ransom strip across the front of my property so he did a lot of searching to ascertain who owned it. This strip runs past my house and down the road where it widens to the area in question. It is not owned by Highways, It used to be common land but was sold off at some stage. Various locals have theories about who owns the land but probably the most plausible is the local large estate. Apparently they had a fire during the WW2 and a lot of documents were destroyed.

My solicitor didn't want more research as it would make getting an indemnity impossible.

I've used the links you provided. The area does show up but not all of it. The ariel view isn't much use, it has farms shown on the wrong side of the road and much of the land is unregistered.

I think we have to accept the land is owned by someone but they probably are not aware of the ownership and are unlikely to ever find documentation.

It's a shame because If I could find the owner I'd buy the strip myself to protect it in future.

Thanks for your advice and interest in this. It's greatly appreciated.


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