'I'll tear up 1,000 trees': South Lakes farmer

The Westmorland Gazette: Edward Steele with some of the trees he has uprooted Edward Steele with some of the trees he has uprooted

A MAN who built an illegal ‘shanty town’ has pledged to uproot more than 1,000 trees after being ordered to put land he rents ‘back to grass’.

Retired farmer Edward Steele has already begun ripping up scores of pines and beeches he has planted over 40 years at Holme House Farm at Skelsmergh, near Kendal.

The 65-year-old has taken South Lakeland District Council’s enforcement notice to the extreme after he was ordered to remove homes built without planning permission.

Mr Steele, a long-term tenant who sited caravans and constructed lodges on the site, has begun tearing up 1,750 trees using a digger.

Around 15 residents still remain on the site but have been given notice to leave.

Mr Steele said: “The council aren’t bothered about the people who live here, so it would be ridiculous for them to get upset about the wildlife.

“I created this site and the caravans supported the wildlife area.

“If there are no people allowed here then I will need to use the land again.

“I feel gutted but they have forced me into this position.

“I have created something, they don’t want it. I might as well destroy it all.

“Let’s make a show of it. It’s a shame – but there you go.”

Related links

Graham Tibbetts, spokesman for Natural England, said they had advised Mr Steele to hire an ecological consultant to make him aware of any laws that needed to be observed.

Mr Tibbetts added: “If he has planted the trees himself and he takes them all down, that’s up to him.”

Mr Steele has until November 28 to remove the residents, who occupy six of the lodges on site. Last month’s court case also ruled he must restore land back to its original state by next April and pay court costs of £3,883.

A spokesperson for South Lakeland District Council, said: “SLDC will not be commenting on Holme House Farm at the present time due to ongoing legal action.”

Comments (17)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:32am Thu 8 Nov 12

Reverend Mark says...

Where are you, Marianne? Another campaign in the offing!
Where are you, Marianne? Another campaign in the offing! Reverend Mark

10:39am Thu 8 Nov 12

magical trevor says...

Sounds like nothing more than a childish tantrum to me. He should grow up and respect the law.
Sounds like nothing more than a childish tantrum to me. He should grow up and respect the law. magical trevor

5:27pm Thu 8 Nov 12

colandvanfull says...

magical trevor wrote:
Sounds like nothing more than a childish tantrum to me. He should grow up and respect the law.
you miss the issue here totaly trevor,
mr Edward steel , has tried and tried to get sldc to understand that booting the population of home house farm just because the law was not followed and no planning was obtained,
get this straight he provided homes for people because sldc have failed to provide houses for the people that live in south cumbria!
even now sldc want to build thousands of shoebox houses, I bet they do not have any problems with planning! some people dont want to live there lives on some council estate.
I dred to think how much money they have spent ,just to set an example,
all at tax payers expence.
i personaly think labling thease homes a "shanty town" is totaly wrong and is giving a bad impresion to everyone .edward has been ordered to put the land back to how it was, and now natural england has warned him he may be breaking laws by complying with the court order and sugested he pay an eco consultant,
talk about bieing between a rock and a hard place, this is pure burocratic lunacy. I thought they were suposed to work for us the people.
in my eye's mr edward steel should be comended for his efforts and more small scale housing in the lake district is the way forward,
one last note for edward don't give up, the rest of the world is on your side???
[quote][p][bold]magical trevor[/bold] wrote: Sounds like nothing more than a childish tantrum to me. He should grow up and respect the law.[/p][/quote]you miss the issue here totaly trevor, mr Edward steel , has tried and tried to get sldc to understand that booting the population of home house farm just because the law was not followed and no planning was obtained, get this straight he provided homes for people because sldc have failed to provide houses for the people that live in south cumbria! even now sldc want to build thousands of shoebox houses, I bet they do not have any problems with planning! some people dont want to live there lives on some council estate. I dred to think how much money they have spent ,just to set an example, all at tax payers expence. i personaly think labling thease homes a "shanty town" is totaly wrong and is giving a bad impresion to everyone .edward has been ordered to put the land back to how it was, and now natural england [defra's best friend] has warned him he may be breaking laws by complying with the court order and sugested he pay an eco consultant, talk about bieing between a rock and a hard place, this is pure burocratic lunacy. I thought they were suposed to work for us the people. in my eye's mr edward steel should be comended for his efforts and more small scale housing in the lake district is the way forward, one last note for edward don't give up, the rest of the world is on your side??? colandvanfull

5:37pm Thu 8 Nov 12

zaney5 says...

magical trevor wrote:
Sounds like nothing more than a childish tantrum to me. He should grow up and respect the law.
Still defending SLDC then Trev?
[quote][p][bold]magical trevor[/bold] wrote: Sounds like nothing more than a childish tantrum to me. He should grow up and respect the law.[/p][/quote]Still defending SLDC then Trev? zaney5

7:09pm Thu 8 Nov 12

Lakeuk says...

1000+ trees to be cut down, I wonder is the trees are going spare for fire wood
1000+ trees to be cut down, I wonder is the trees are going spare for fire wood Lakeuk

7:12pm Thu 8 Nov 12

Lakeuk says...

Any one watching the programme on ch4 at moment following the building of a property similar to this on a show string. One on the programme overlooks Windermere another by the shore of Coniston. Both legal and above board

Strange world we live in
Any one watching the programme on ch4 at moment following the building of a property similar to this on a show string. One on the programme overlooks Windermere another by the shore of Coniston. Both legal and above board Strange world we live in Lakeuk

7:19pm Thu 8 Nov 12

faircumbrian says...

I wonder if Mr Steele has obtained a 'felling licence' before destroying the trees? It might be a requirement, and he could find himself in trouble if he hasn't got one.
I wonder if Mr Steele has obtained a 'felling licence' before destroying the trees? It might be a requirement, and he could find himself in trouble if he hasn't got one. faircumbrian

5:44pm Fri 9 Nov 12

craggy says...

Its interesting to note that the pointless destruction of 1000's of trees prompts 7 comments on this site yet the felling of 1 tree at Brockhole currently has over 60 comments! A clear demonstration of the hypocrisy of protestors & demonstrators.
Its interesting to note that the pointless destruction of 1000's of trees prompts 7 comments on this site yet the felling of 1 tree at Brockhole currently has over 60 comments! A clear demonstration of the hypocrisy of protestors & demonstrators. craggy

11:17pm Fri 9 Nov 12

life cycle too says...

For myself, colandvanfull said everything I would have said.

The issue at Brockhole is as much about the authority that is supposed to act on our behalf flying in the face of the wishes of a good number of the public, offering feeble excuses and destroying a tree that took 110 years to reach the stature it had... as about the loss of a single tree.
They are yet to cut down the memorial trees that were paid for and planted in memory of loved ones!

The 1000 of trees being torn up is also the result of a local authority failing to address the problem of housing people in it's midst, then employing a legal sledge hammer to crush the nut that highlighted their shortcomings.
At least the public will get a chance to vote them in or out as they choose at the next opportunity, unlike the LDNPA.

Meanwhile the trees currently being torn up could be replaced in 20 years,.
For myself, colandvanfull said everything I would have said. The issue at Brockhole is as much about the authority that is supposed to act on our behalf flying in the face of the wishes of a good number of the public, offering feeble excuses and destroying a tree that took 110 years to reach the stature it had... as about the loss of a single tree. They are yet to cut down the memorial trees that were paid for and planted in memory of loved ones! The 1000 of trees being torn up is also the result of a local authority failing to address the problem of housing people in it's midst, then employing a legal sledge hammer to crush the nut that highlighted their shortcomings. At least the public will get a chance to vote them in or out as they choose at the next opportunity, unlike the LDNPA. Meanwhile the trees currently being torn up could be replaced in 20 years,. life cycle too

1:26pm Sat 10 Nov 12

craggy says...

So Adam Thomas has no right to chop down 1 tree because he is our servant and can only do what we say (by we I refer to a small but vocal minority) despite the fact we never show any interest in the running of Brockhole other than to complain, whilst Mr Steele can destroy 1000 trees because he is seen as a poor victim (who broke the law).

Marrianeb is very quiet on this isn't she!
So Adam Thomas has no right to chop down 1 tree because he is our servant and can only do what we say (by we I refer to a small but vocal minority) despite the fact we never show any interest in the running of Brockhole other than to complain, whilst Mr Steele can destroy 1000 trees because he is seen as a poor victim (who broke the law). Marrianeb is very quiet on this isn't she! craggy

6:38pm Sat 10 Nov 12

life cycle too says...

On the contrary.
My brother worked on the very first exhibition at Brockhole back in 1980s, an I worked close to Brockhole for a couple of years, so have always taken an interest on what has gone on there, with a certain degree of knowledge.

I also have supplied Brockhole over a long period and seen changes made for the good - then undone when somebody new has taken over and been determined to make his mark.

I see also that Allan Tunningley has taken up the same standpoint in his comment in the Gazette and here online:
http://www.thewestmo
rlandgazette.co.uk/o
pinion/10035338.Fell
ing_of_the_monkey_pu
zzle_tree_raises_que
stions/?ref=mc

You can see from the photograph in the article above that the trees here are not substantial.

In this instance I feel more concern for the remaining residents who will have to quit the site and find somewhere else to live.
On the contrary. My brother worked on the very first exhibition at Brockhole back in 1980s, an I worked close to Brockhole for a couple of years, so have always taken an interest on what has gone on there, with a certain degree of knowledge. I also have supplied Brockhole over a long period and seen changes made for the good - then undone when somebody new has taken over and been determined to make his mark. I see also that Allan Tunningley has taken up the same standpoint in his comment in the Gazette and here online: http://www.thewestmo rlandgazette.co.uk/o pinion/10035338.Fell ing_of_the_monkey_pu zzle_tree_raises_que stions/?ref=mc You can see from the photograph in the article above that the trees here are not substantial. In this instance I feel more concern for the remaining residents who will have to quit the site and find somewhere else to live. life cycle too

11:14pm Sat 10 Nov 12

craggy says...

So you used to work near there, your brother worked there 30 years ago and they once bought something from you, clearly you are integral to the day to day running of Brockhole!
Clearly Mr Thomas should have consulted you personally.

Still no Marianneb!
So you used to work near there, your brother worked there 30 years ago and they once bought something from you, clearly you are integral to the day to day running of Brockhole! Clearly Mr Thomas should have consulted you personally. Still no Marianneb! craggy

2:54am Sun 11 Nov 12

life cycle too says...

It is clear yur intention is merely to provoke.
The article above makes it quite clear why the trees have to go, and even the Natural England spokesperson is unable to come up with a reason why the trees should stay:
"... Mr Tibbetts added: “If he has planted the trees himself and he takes them all down, that’s up to him.”

It is not up to him... it goes on to say:

"Mr Steele has until November 28 to remove the residents, who occupy six of the lodges on site. Last month’s court case also ruled he MUST restore land back to its original state by next April..." so the trees he planted have to go... by order of the court, at the behest of SLDC.
It is clear yur intention is merely to provoke. The article above makes it quite clear why the trees have to go, and even the Natural England spokesperson is unable to come up with a reason why the trees should stay: "... Mr Tibbetts added: “If he has planted the trees himself and he takes them all down, that’s up to him.” It is not up to him... it goes on to say: "Mr Steele has until November 28 to remove the residents, who occupy six of the lodges on site. Last month’s court case also ruled he MUST restore land back to its original state by next April..." so the trees he planted have to go... by order of the court, at the behest of SLDC. life cycle too

10:43am Sun 11 Nov 12

craggy says...

My intention is not to provoke, it is to highlight the folly of the protestations at Brockhole.
You and others have condemned the felling of a single tree yet are now happy to see 1000's destroyed. Claiming that Mr Steele is only doing what the ruling is requiring him to do is farcical as if he had done as required by the authorities in the first place then we would not be here now!

It is becoming more and more evident that the protesters at Brockhole don't give a **** about the tree!
Every time an article appears here which highlights an act of vandalism to nature then marrianneb is the first to condemn the wrong doer, why is she so quiet on this particular turn of events?

The vast majority of local people couldn't give a hoot about one tree at Brockhole, most folk are also not prepared to pay more council tax to support Brockhole as a white elephant and so accept the fact that it needs to adapt and become financially viable, hence the developments.
My intention is not to provoke, it is to highlight the folly of the protestations at Brockhole. You and others have condemned the felling of a single tree yet are now happy to see 1000's destroyed. Claiming that Mr Steele is only doing what the ruling is requiring him to do is farcical as if he had done as required by the authorities in the first place then we would not be here now! It is becoming more and more evident that the protesters at Brockhole don't give a **** about the tree! Every time an article appears here which highlights an act of vandalism to nature then marrianneb is the first to condemn the wrong doer, why is she so quiet on this particular turn of events? The vast majority of local people couldn't give a hoot about one tree at Brockhole, most folk are also not prepared to pay more council tax to support Brockhole as a white elephant and so accept the fact that it needs to adapt and become financially viable, hence the developments. craggy

11:06am Sun 11 Nov 12

life cycle too says...

I have stated in the tree thread and elsewhere that it is NOT just about a tree, that it is about the way in which the LDNPA who are supposed to be guardians of our heritage and environment are behaving in a manner which threatens those ideals.
The National Park is for the shared enjoyment of EVERYBODY, not just the select few chosen by the National Park Authority and the Friends of the Lake District.

Allan Tunningley's piece in the Gazette echos my sentiments exactly.
The LDNPA have prostituted themselves, carrying out a tree felling for financial gain, not environmental or historical reasons.
They are a public relations nightmare, being mired in one controversy after another.
They are presently engaged in a partnership whose aim is to promote green transport - and have £6.9 million to spend.
Electric cars and bikes, and paying Stagecoach to take seats out of buses to carry bikes are not going to achieve green credentials. The buses are old and polluting, the electricity to charge the cars/bikes is not from a wind turbine or hydro project, but gas and coal! Green Transport? Pull the other one!!

The issue with the trees being torn up is outside of the National Park, but has elements of the same bureaucratic bungling - SLDC are unable to house people, but they have objected to somebody else housing them and chosen to invoke the law to wreck what is a commendable effort, instead of simply ticking the legal boxes that were omitted by Mr Steele, and perhaps punishing him for those omissions.

Retrospective permission would have housed dozens of people at no cost to the tax payer in a development they didn't even know was there for several years - instead SLDC have thrown tens of thousands of tax pounds at a problem of their making!!
I have stated in the tree thread and elsewhere that it is NOT just about a tree, that it is about the way in which the LDNPA who are supposed to be guardians of our heritage and environment are behaving in a manner which threatens those ideals. The National Park is for the shared enjoyment of EVERYBODY, not just the select few chosen by the National Park Authority and the Friends of the Lake District. Allan Tunningley's piece in the Gazette echos my sentiments exactly. The LDNPA have prostituted themselves, carrying out a tree felling for financial gain, not environmental or historical reasons. They are a public relations nightmare, being mired in one controversy after another. They are presently engaged in a partnership whose aim is to promote green transport - and have £6.9 million to spend. Electric cars and bikes, and paying Stagecoach to take seats out of buses to carry bikes are not going to achieve green credentials. The buses are old and polluting, the electricity to charge the cars/bikes is not from a wind turbine or hydro project, but gas and coal! Green Transport? Pull the other one!! The issue with the trees being torn up is outside of the National Park, but has elements of the same bureaucratic bungling - SLDC are unable to house people, but they have objected to somebody else housing them and chosen to invoke the law to wreck what is a commendable effort, instead of simply ticking the legal boxes that were omitted by Mr Steele, and perhaps punishing him for those omissions. Retrospective permission would have housed dozens of people at no cost to the tax payer in a development they didn't even know was there for several years - instead SLDC have thrown tens of thousands of tax pounds at a problem of their making!! life cycle too

1:09pm Mon 12 Nov 12

magical trevor says...

This particularl article wasn't even about the Brockhole farce....why do idiots have to keep bleating on about a **** tree that isn't even the subject of what was written here. Edward Steele has been judged to have broken the law....he therefore needs to abide by the judgement...not throw his toys out of the pram like a child.
This particularl article wasn't even about the Brockhole farce....why do idiots have to keep bleating on about a **** tree that isn't even the subject of what was written here. Edward Steele has been judged to have broken the law....he therefore needs to abide by the judgement...not throw his toys out of the pram like a child. magical trevor

2:33pm Mon 12 Nov 12

life cycle too says...

magical trevor wrote:
This particularl article wasn't even about the Brockhole farce....why do idiots have to keep bleating on about a **** tree that isn't even the subject of what was written here. Edward Steele has been judged to have broken the law....he therefore needs to abide by the judgement...not throw his toys out of the pram like a child.
That would be down to Craggy then, who sought to connect the two issues:

Quote:
"craggy says...
5:44pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Its interesting to note that the pointless destruction of 1000's of trees prompts 7 comments on this site yet the felling of 1 tree at Brockhole currently has over 60 comments! A clear demonstration of the hypocrisy of protestors & demonstrators."

Everyone of my posts has included comment on Mr Steele's situation, including pointing out the legal order to return the land to how it was - which if followed to the letter means pulling out the trees he planted to screen the development SLDC have seen fit to end, and the fact these trees are outside of the National Park.

I also pointed out that SLDC were unaware of this development for several years, and that it provided homes for dozens of people at no expense to the tax payer.

There has been no evidence that the homes were below an acceptable standard - yet the Gazette continues to use a derogatory term - SHANTY homes!

In my opinion, Mr Steele should have been penalised for not following proper procedures, and the development given retrospective planning consent - and EVERYONE would have been better off - but it is SLDC who chose to raise the stakes so high, and prompted Edward Steele to "throw his toys out of the pram".
[quote][p][bold]magical trevor[/bold] wrote: This particularl article wasn't even about the Brockhole farce....why do idiots have to keep bleating on about a **** tree that isn't even the subject of what was written here. Edward Steele has been judged to have broken the law....he therefore needs to abide by the judgement...not throw his toys out of the pram like a child.[/p][/quote]That would be down to Craggy then, who sought to connect the two issues: Quote: "craggy says... 5:44pm Fri 9 Nov 12 Its interesting to note that the pointless destruction of 1000's of trees prompts 7 comments on this site yet the felling of 1 tree at Brockhole currently has over 60 comments! A clear demonstration of the hypocrisy of protestors & demonstrators." Everyone of my posts has included comment on Mr Steele's situation, including pointing out the legal order to return the land to how it was - which if followed to the letter means pulling out the trees he planted to screen the development SLDC have seen fit to end, and the fact these trees are outside of the National Park. I also pointed out that SLDC were unaware of this development for several years, and that it provided homes for dozens of people at no expense to the tax payer. There has been no evidence that the homes were below an acceptable standard - yet the Gazette continues to use a derogatory term - SHANTY homes! In my opinion, Mr Steele should have been penalised for not following proper procedures, and the development given retrospective planning consent - and EVERYONE would have been better off - but it is SLDC who chose to raise the stakes so high, and prompted Edward Steele to "throw his toys out of the pram". life cycle too

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree