MYSTERY surrounds why dozens of trees have been felled on land in Sherfield-on-Loddon.

The forest area along Dixon Road, near Sherfield Park, has been flattened and the trees burnt during the last week.

When The Gazette visited the site today, a worker told us that he had no contact with the owner of the land and did not know why the trees had been chopped down. A member of staff from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council was also there, with a police officer, neither of whom would comment to The Gazette.

The borough council has, however, confirmed that it has been investigating the work, and is due to provide a statement later today.

Several members of the public have contacted The Gazette with concerns about the work.

A couple, from Sherfield Park, who did not want to be named, said they had heard rumours that the site had been purchased by travellers.

They added: “This news is horrifying. We moved here some years ago because of the peaceful environment and community feel that Sherfield Park offered. We did not move here to have to deal with the countless issues that living next to a traveller site has been well reported to bring.

“Are we to now encounter a Dale Farm scenario?”

Another resident, Nadine Laws, said: “It’s quite clear to anyone that the land is being prepared for some use other than forestry.”

The Gazette will provide more information on this as we have it.