Plant a Tree for the Queen’s Jubilee

From a Correspondent: 

Plant a Tree for the Queen’s Jubilee 

— v

Profits are good if you destroy a Wood! 

The Queen’s Green Canopy is a unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022, which invites people from across the United Kingdom to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee.” It focuses on encouraging sustainable planting of trees to create a legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership of the Nation, which will benefit future generations and assist our climate crisis. 

However, it isn’t surprising that Burrington Estates at Winslade Park, Clyst St Mary are not amongst the numerous listed corporate supporters of this environmental incentive that stretches throughout the length and breadth of the UK, because during recent weekends in March and continuing into the first two weeks of April 2022, incessant noise from bulldozers and accompanying chainsaws have drowned out the birdsong from the native species that have made their homes in the many diverse, individual  trees, copses and extensive hedgerows that have for many years enhanced this  Winslade Park area. 

These trees and hedgerows are alive at this time of year with countless common, native bird species, alongside rarer families of woodpeckers, jays, bullfinches, goldfinches, predatory hawks, buzzards and nocturnal varieties of owls  – but because tree felling, lopping, crowning and razing trees to the ground is not conducive to the nesting season, we have national environmental laws in place at this time of year to protect our wildlife against any decimation of trees and hedgerows. 

The Developers will, no doubt, defend themselves that all trees felled and hedgerows obliterated were either storm damaged, past their best or required considerable thinning, lopping, crowning or felling to improve their overall welfare! 

To safeguard and redeem their reputation, Developers will justify, vindicate and absolve themselves that the trees’ and hedgerows’ demise had nothing to do with the fact that they want to clear huge swathes of land for developmental purposes!  These trees and hedgerows were standing in the way and preventing economic progress (not to mention the Developers’ expected sizeable, personal profits from this development) – therefore, that must be the legitimate reason for the demise of so many mature species? 

This is all at a time when the Developers are awaiting a planning decision for their application (21/2217/MRES) for three apartment blocks containing 40 approximately 15 metre-high flats (equivalent to 4.5-storeys), an elevated access road and 74 parking spaces adjoining existing residents’ garden boundaries, that have caused such staggering anxieties in this rural village for those who will be overlooked from the higher levels of this incongruous development. 

Moreover, this is happening at the same time as East Devon District Council is advancing their policy-making within the new Draft East Devon Development Plan to 2040, where the Council’s Strategic Planning Committee has ‘lambasted’ Developers who destroy trees and woodland and the natural environment in pursuance of development! 

In the words of Queen Elizabeth II’s great-great grandmother – Queen Victoria –  

“We are not amused!” 

One thought on “Plant a Tree for the Queen’s Jubilee

  1. Having just read this blog and been fortunate to live most of my life in this lovely country village, so can claim to be very familiar with this Winslade parkland scenery, this morning I strolled around this particular area . . . . . and certainly there have been considerable tree and hedgerow losses recently, within and around the car park and the protected copse, where the monstrous apartment blocks are planned, which will be a dreadful encroachment on those who live adjoining these proposals, if they go ahead? I can confirm that where once mature maple, sycamore, hazel, oaks and other tree and hedge varieties grew – sadly now there are merely umpteen tree stumps and piles of sawdust!

    It also seems that one of my pleasures watching the kingfishers along the Grindle Brook to the south of the Manor House has also come to an end, because a great many willow trees and other tree species have also been felled, dug up and disposed of (since I last took a walk in this area) and timid kingfishers are obviously averse to bulldozers, diggers and chainsaws!

    BTW – Does East Devon District Council still have a Tree Department to keep a watchful eye on our local trees, hedges and natural environment and offer protective measures – or is this another department that has been relegated as irrelevant and non-essential in favour of more resources being channelled towards economic growth and build-build-build? For marketing purposes, Burringtons describe these 86-acres as ‘A Stunning Parkland’ – so why are they destroying the very natural resources that make it so appealing and unique – there’s only one reason – and that has a large £ symbol attached to it?

    Both the nonagenarian Sir David Attenborough and the teenaged Greta Thunberg, alongside many local environmentalists (myself being one such individual), would question the wisdom of ignoring the protection of this rural District’s environmental assets?

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