Residents in "village green" bid to regain access to popular woodland

A Dorset community is applying to have a popular local woodland re-classed as a village green after its new owners restricted access.

Image: Simon Scurr (CC BY SA 2.0)
Image: Simon Scurr (CC BY SA 2.0)

Residents of Corfe Mullen are collecting data on the use of the Stoney Down Plantation, 2km west of the village, prior to access being restricted by its owner, as part of a submission to Dorset County Council which has to be completed by 21 April.

Since October 2015, public access on the site is limited to a single fenced bridleway. The owner, Paradise Farms, has proposed setting up a holiday park on the site - plans which drew 75 concerned residents to a parish council meeting when they were first aired. 

Activist Jan Walker said: "Those of us who previously enjoyed free access to all parts of the woodland for walking, horse riding, nature watching, identifying veteran trees and old arboriculture practices, and foraging, as well as making dens and general play, are naturally upset at this loss."

She explained: "We need to demonstrate that people visiting Stoney Down felt they were free to engage in these sorts of activities, were unaware of any restrictions on access to any part of it, were never stopped and were not aware that they might have needed permission to access any part of it."

Containing remant features including ancient oaks, the 50-hectare site is part of a designated Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV). 

According to The Open Spaces Society, "A green is any land on which a significant number of inhabitants of any area has indulged in lawful sports and pastimes, for 20 years, as of right."

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Chainsaws and pruning tools

Chainsaws and pruning tools

Selecting the most appropriate equipment for the job is key to getting the best result and there are plenty of new options, Sally Drury finds

Careers profile - Local authority tree officer

Careers profile - Local authority tree officer

A tree officer works for a council and is responsible for the care and management of trees owned by the local authority, including trees in public woodlands, parks, country parks and roadsides.

Careers profile - Arboriculture team leader

Careers profile - Arboriculture team leader

An arboriculture contractor team leader is the person who, having worked for several years as an arborist/tree surgeon, is the lead climber in a team that is typically made up of themself, a climber and a grounds person.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Arboriculture Contracts & Tenders

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

Tree consultant Jeremy Barrell reflects on the big issues in arboriculture.

Products & Kit Resources