At loggerheads over trees’ future

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An applicant and objectors are at loggerheads over proposals to fell 11 trees and prune two more.

The application has been submitted to Calderdale Council by Mr Stuart Brady, of Robinwood Activity Centre, to undertake the work at Stanningley Naze, Jumps Lane, Todmorden.

The activity centre says action is required over the trees, which are close to where activities have been undertaken for 20 years, but opponents of the proposal say they are concerned about the effect felling the trees would have on wildlife and would change the character of a historic wood.

An arboriculturalist’s report by Bruce Hatton of BHA Trees Ltd, submitted with the application, said he had inspected all trees in the vicinity, listing three as needing immediate action to fulfill liability under duty of care, including a large mature sycamore in a state of advanced decay which Mr Hatton recommends should be felled as soon as possible. Another 12 require action within 12 months, says his report.

Objectors to the plan are concerned about the impact on nature, saying the decaying trees are an important habitat for beetles, bats and fungi - home to protected fauna.

They say the trees have grown for generations, forming part of a 200-year-old woodland. Some objectors claim the centre does not have the landowner’s permission to fell.

Mr Brady said the stream involved at the clough was a land boundary and the centre had permission from the landowner at one side and had been unable to track down the landowner at the other. Concerns about wildlife would be addressed, he said.