Local people came out in force today [16 May], along with reps from Sussex Wildlife Trust and Friends of the Earth, to protest against the illegal felling of Pondtail Wood on Muddleswood Road (opposite Singing Hills Golf Club) and the illegal bringing in of hardcore to create a hard surface entrance, decimating the woodland and doing so without a felling licence or planning permission.
Pondtail Wood was bought earlier this year and since then there has been extensive felling of the planted wood. It is a Planted Ancient Woodland Site (PAWS) and is within the South Downs National Park. The trees that have been felled were mature and were a pine variety.
Local people raised concerns from mid-March and Mid Sussex District Council and South Downs National Park Authority were informed at that time. A ‘Temporary Stop Notice’ was issued last week [May 10]. The notices have been removed from the gate and work on the site appears to have continued. The South Downs National Park woodland is under threat if it cannot be protected. Local people want to see the destruction stopped and the woodland repaired and replanted.
Listen to the BBC Sussex piece this morning: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03tlgxw#play – go to 02:41
The protest is expected to be shown on BBC South East TV tonight (note we normally get BBC South TV in this area, so do find the right channel on your Freeview/Sky/etc)
And it will be in The Argus, Mid Sussex Times and West Sussex County Times later this week.
Further updates will be issued and a campaign on Facebook and Twitter is being set up where updates can be shared with everyone who cares about this issue. Links will be added in due course
Mike Airey is collating information for SDNPA and other authorities.
Any further activity that the authorities ought to know should be e-mailed to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or he is contactable on 07884 165 867