THE owners of a site in Sherfield-on-Loddon where hundreds of trees were felled have been ordered to return the land to how it was.
As reported in last week’s Gazette, around 250 trees were chopped down and burnt at the site in Dixon Road, next to Sherfield Park, sparking fears from residents that the work had paved the way for travellers to move in.
Documents obtained from the Land Registry show the site is owned by four men, one of whom has documented links to the traveller community.
But now, the Forestry Commission has ordered the owners with a “restocking notice” which requires trees to be planted by June 30, 2015.
A sign has been posted on the gate of the site, and sent to the owners – John and Sammy Smith, of Almond Close, Farnborough, James Tombs, of Forest Farm, Tadley, and Boysie Biddle, of Justin Park, Market Harborough, in Leicestershire.
It states: “It has been established that you felled trees on land North of Taylors Lane, Sherfield-on-Loddon, near Hook, Hampshire without a felling licence in contravention of the provisions of the Forestry Act 1967.
“The Forestry Commissioners, in pursuance of their powers under Section 17A of that Act, hereby give notice requiring you to carry out the restocking specified in the schedule below.”
The schedule asks for the felled area to be restocked with mixed native broadleaved species, along with no more than 10 per cent non-native species, such as walnut and Italian alder.