July 23rd 1996
Not giving up! Letter to Government Office NW
Dear Mr S. A. MacDonald,
Further to our telephone conversation, I am writing to you concerning the proposed felling of the Rusland Beeches. On Friday 19th July the Lake District Planning Board rode roughshod over public opinion and disregarded a report by two highly regarded experts which concluded that the majority of the trees are healthy. The ‘Save the Rusland Beeches’ campaign presented the Planning Board with 3,200 signatures (and rising) and the report commissioned by objectors confirming local feeling that the National Park is going over the top.
The fact is that these trees have withstood the severe storms of 1987 and 1988 which flattened both young and old trees in the Lake District. Last winter we had exceptionally heavy snowfall. The Rusland Beeches survived these events, which in a trees life was only a second ago, only to be given the death sentence by the very people who are supposed to be caring for them. The Lake District Special Planning Board were given the beeches in order “to preserve amenity value and conserve their wildlife.”
Local people are furious that the National Park now want to blot the lot. Selective felling of a few trees is acceptable although even that is contemplated by locals with sadness. Wholesale felling would be a travesty. I enclose the report by R.N Cartwright and A Lee and a small selection of the many letters I have received. In order to fell the trees the National Park needs to have the Tree Preservation Orders lifted. I write to you in the hope that you will not lift the T.P.Os on the majority of these much loved trees.