SOUTH Lakeland District Council is cutting down a large number of trees from Little Wood on Kendal Fell.

I understand the trees are being removed on the back of an independent woodlands report with the aim of stimulating sapling growth so as to obtain a less uniform age structure to the wood. Why?

If the aim is to promote biodiversity/conservation, trees would have been pollarded and left as both standing and felled dead wood. That is not happening; timber is being removed.

Further valuable trees ecologically, those with disease and damage, are being targeted in a location where risk to the public is low. All this in conflict with recommendations for managing beech woodlands. Most disappointing though is the lack of public consultation.

The destruction in Little Wood should be seen alongside clear felling of mature conifers in Dog Kennel Wood (the area will need renaming) and of course the proposed felling along the Kent in Kendal.

Our council, which declared a climate emergency, seems to have also declared war on trees on land for which it is custodian.

Steve Palmer


The Gazette contacted South Lakeland District Council and here is its response:

"The council has followed the professional advice of specialist woodland consultants at Cumbria Woodlands to prepare extensive woodland management plans for all woodlands on land it owns.

“These woodland management plans are specifically designed to keep woodland areas safe for the recreation and benefit of the public, to improve the structure of the woodland to maintain and improve species diversity, to encourage woodland regeneration, improve habitat for flora and fauna, and protect and maintain historic features and other features of local interest.

“The draft management plans were all subject to consultation, which included, in the case of Little Wood, consultation in 2018 with Fellside Forum, the community representative group on the Kendal Fell Action Group, as well as Kendal Conservation Volunteers.

“The finalised management plan was then approved by the Forestry Commission following a further period of consultation.

“Under the management plan all works carried out are monitored by the Forestry Commission to ensure compliance and guarantee industry best practice. We are not simply cutting down trees in Little Wood, but carrying out managed thinning in accordance with the approved management plan to benefit and enhance the woodland, with the intention that this work would be complete before the next bird-nesting season. This work has already been subject to checks by the Forestry Commission to ensure compliance with the plan and it is very pleased with the approach being taken.’’