Crawley tree felling under investigation by Forestry Commission

Tree felling at Burleys Wood
Tree felling at Burleys Wood

The Forestry Commission has confirmed it is investigating residents’ concerns over tree felling in Crawley woodland.

The Forestry Commission has confirmed it is investigating residents’ concerns over tree felling in Crawley woodland.

The work has been taking place in Burleys Wood, on an area of land which is privately owned.

A number of trees have been cut down, exposing the motorway.

Residents reported the tree felling work had started two weeks before Christmas.

Simon Hodge, a resident in Crabbet Park, Worth, said: “An area of woodland has been decimated adjacent to the M23.

“When the workman have been approached by residents various different stories have been given for the reason. The most common story is the trees were rotten and dangerous.

“I am concerned that the environmental impact this will have on the local wildlife as well as residents is severe.”

A Crawley Borough Council spokesman confirmed the authority had been made aware of the works.

They said: “The council was alerted to these works [on Thursday, January 2] and can confirm that a private party is undertaking the tree felling.

“The area is defined as ancient woodland and owned by Highways England, with the exception of a small section in between the pathway and motorway, which is privately owned. This appears to be where the work is taking place.

“The council will be referring the matter to the Forestry Commission in order to determine whether the felled trees required a licence to fell. There do not appear to have been any breaches of planning controls.”

The Forestry Commission confirmed it was looking at the issue.

A spokesman said: “Two Forestry Commission woodland officers visited the site to gather evidence and talk to all parties involved. It is too early to tell if those who brought down the trees committed an offence.

“We are looking into the allegations.”