Earby millennium woods ‘are now wild and unkempt’

Craven Herald: Anne’s Wood in Earby blocks out the sun, say residents Anne’s Wood in Earby blocks out the sun, say residents

An Earby woodland, planted to mark the millennium, is causing concern among residents.

Anne’s Wood, off School Lane, was created as part of the Woodland Trust’s Woods on Your Doorstep project.

But 14 years on, residents and councillors have raised concerns about its state.

A report by a Pendle Council official said: “Residents have complained that planting trees and bushes in the field is obscuring the amount of sun they get and the site has grown wild and unkempt.”

The land, owned by Pendle Council but leased to the Woodlands Trust, includes an avenue of 25 lime trees lining the path from the entrance to the central glade, where a grove of 25 yews cluster around two seats.

Named in memory of local woman Anne Duffield, the site was planted in 2000 with more than 1,000 native trees, including ash, English oak, common alder and wild cherry and shrubs including goat willow, rowan, hazel, hawthorn, blackthorn and guelder rose.

“Work is well overdue,” said Earby councillor Chris Tennant.

“The woodland was planted in the millennium and has been in place for 14 years.

“Work was supposed to be done in 2010 but now it’s not going to take place until the first quarter of 2016.” Neil Watson, Pendle Council’s planning and building control manager, said: “The lease says the land has to be managed using good woodland practice, which is fine for the wood but not always good for neighbours. But there is no compelling way that I’m aware of to make them do the work.”

A spokesman for the Woodland Trust said: “The trust manages its sites as natural woodlands, allowing them to form naturally and become fantastic habitats for wildlife and natural green havens for local people to enjoy and relax in.

“Where work is needed for safety reasons or to enhance biodiversity, these will be carried out, and so the trust has a five-year management plan for each of its woods.

“The plan for Anne’s Wood was up for review and renewal in 2010. As the trees were only ten years old it was decided no thinning was required yet.

“The plan is up for review again in 2015 but the trust has scheduled some thinning for the wood for 2016 and tidying up boundary and path edges for safety and ease of access.

“Each year the trust carries out three cuts to tidy up the paths and to collect litter.”

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