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New Forest Notes: Jubilee tree planting debate evokes long-forgotten row

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I AM not sure if we have heard the last of Burley Parish Council’s plans to plant a small copse on Forest land near the village to commemorate the Queen’s platinum jubilee.

Such a new “ornamental wood” is permitted by statute, but requires the consent of the landowner (the government via Forestry England), the Verderers’ Court and perhaps also Natural England. All have refused and, short of something dramatic like a judicial review, that would seem to be the end of the matter.

There has been a lot of talk about how much or how little damage to the grazing the planting of a copse would do. As a general rule I don’t think anyone wants to see the Forest’s grazing area depleted, but I think that is hardly the overriding consideration in this case. Hundreds of acres of dense plantation trees have been cut down and returned to grazing over the last few years and thousands more animals have been depastured to eat what is available.

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