Landowner David Qayumi prosecuted for felling protected New Forest trees at Terry's Patch
A LANDOWNER who cut down protected trees in a New Forest conservation area has been fined by a court.
Fifteen oak trees, one field maple and several hawthorns were felled on land south of the A336 at Bartley; all were protected because they were within a conservation area.
Known as Terry’s Patch, the site, between the junctions with Eadens Lane and Tatchbury Lane, is subject to a long-standing woodland tree preservation order (TPO). It is classified as a priority habitat of broadleaved deciduous woodland, with badgers, hedgehogs, at least six types of bat, and more than 25 protected bird species found in the area.
Several other oaks on the site had also been marked with an X, suggesting they too would be chopped down.
The national park authority (NPA) successfully secured a High Court injunction to prevent further illegal felling, and gathered enough evidence to prosecute the landowner, David Qayumi, of Queens Park Road in Birmingham. He pleaded guilty to committing the offences in December last year.
Steve Avery, director of strategy and planning at the NPA, said: "The authority will prosecute where there is enough evidence to support unauthorised tree removal and wanton destruction of protected trees – which are an important element of the special qualities and landscape character of the national park.
"We are disappointed that the fine was on the low side of the range available to the courts but it shows that we will pursue such unauthorised action. The next step will be to secure replacement planting to safeguard the long-term integrity and landscape character of the site."
The defendant was ordered by Southampton Magistrates' Court to pay a £2,000 fine and £982 in court charges. He must also cover the authority's costs.