Anger as trees felled on common as part of 'management plan'

A number of trees were felled on Bungay Common last week.

A number of trees were felled on Bungay Common last week. - Credit: Candy Kourakos

The felling of several trees planted to mark the Queen's silver jubilee has been met with anger and disappointment.

The Jubilee Woods, on Bungay Common, were planted in 1977, but several trees were felled last week as part of a management plan by landowners.

Candy Kourakos, of Broad Street, said: "It is a beautiful place and I just felt I couldn't let the felling of several mature poplars go without mourning their passing.

"They were planted as little saplings in a little fenced-off area in 1977 and have grown big and strong. 

"For many regular walkers, these trees had become old friends and we so enjoyed listening to the woodpeckers drumming, the cuckoo calling and the thrushes singing in their branches, and watching them grow and change with the seasons.

"There has been no explanatory notice put us as to why they had to be felled, but it will certainly be a sad loss to the local wildlife, and to the landscape of Outney Common."

Another resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "It is appalling and was done under the cover of the Covid lockdown."

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In 1965, the area stopped being common land and became owned by private individuals, local charities and the town council, split over 300 goings, two of which were sold for £18,000 in 2019, with the land managed by a group of Common Reeves.

The trees on Bungay Common around two years ago.

The trees on Bungay Common around two years ago. - Credit: Candy Kourakos

Group spokesperson David Sprake, of Sprake and Kingsley Solicitors, said: "I know it looks drastic at the moment but this is part of a management programme for the land.

"There was a little section planted for the Queen's jubilee but the trees planted were not really native to the area and we have been managing these for seven or eight years, taking down a few at a time, all within the rules and as part of the plan.

"Some of the trees elsewhere on the land have been coming down for years for health and safety reasons because they are hanging right over the path."

A number of the goings are owned by Bungay Town Trust.

Judy Cloke, town reeve and chair of the trust, said: "The Town Trust has no direct involvement with the management of the Common.

"We have a representative on the group of owners who reports back to the trust, but we have no control over the group and the trust did not authorise any work there." 

Bungay Town Council were also not involved in the felling of trees, a spokesperson confirmed.