Red crosses have appeared on a number of trees that are protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) in the woodland area adjacent to Parkside off Pack and Prime Lane and Gravel Hill.
The crosses are thought to be part of a new planning application for the site although as of today there is not a new one on the SODC planning register website. There have been a number of planning applications submitted over the years for this privately owned site which have been turned down. The latest one in 2018 was for 10 apartments which was refused by SODC with the Forestry Officer commenting “The amount of tree removal would cause significant harm to the TPO woodland, degrading its natural appearance and irrevocably harming its overall character.”
Trish Cooper who first saw the crosses on the trees posted on Facebook said, “Does anyone know why the protected trees in the woodland adjacent to Pack and Prime Lane and Gravel Hill suddenly have red crosses all over them as they all have TPOs? As neighbours we’ve often seen sika deer, red kite, ravens, and bats there – it’s part of Henley’s wildlife corridor.”
Geoff Luckett from The Henley Society contacted SODC said, “We continue to be active in the Town Planning field with every application submitted to the Town Council scrutinised by our Planning Sub Committee Chaired by David Whitehead. The Henley Society drew the attention of the SODC Forestry Department to this and they were quickly on the scene to post warning notices on the trees informing that to touch them in any material way would, without proper consent, be a criminal offence. The Society will be vigilant in keeping this site under review and will object in the strongest terms to any similar application on the site which is home to deer, ravens red kites and bats, among others and is an important wildlife sanctuary.”
Councillor Donna Crook said, “Thanks for posting these as there is a planning application and I’m going to send these photos to planning as they should not be doing anything without permission, hopefully we will refuse it.”
Photo: Trish Cooper