Residents question Drenagh tree cutting

John Paul Grimes


John Paul Grimes


STUNNED residents are raising environmental concerns of tree-felling at an ancient woodlands outside Limavady, but the new owner has reassured that any work carried out is to “maintain and protect it for future generations.”

Iconic Drenagh House Estate, on the Drumsurn Road, sold off an adjoining woodland a number of years ago to Mr Francis Connon, which is now managed by Scottish Woodlands, on behalf of the new owner.

A representative from Drenagh Estate told the Northern Constitution it has sold off the adjoining land and has no responsibility for any activity on the woodland now.

Norman Pickett is a concerned Limavady resident who is “stunned into total disbelief” at what he claims are ever increasing lowering of environmental standards.

Mr Pickett added: “I refer to the shock with which I have experienced in the last few months, the blatant wanton destruction of a section of Drenagh woodland next to the junction of the Drumsurn Road and the Broad Road under I gather the heading of thinning and invasive removing of growth.

“Strangely some of this work has been carried out at night.

“Was the act of chopping down 100 year old beech trees so controversial that this was best done under cover of darkness?

“The area is a mess and looks ridiculous with the worst pillaging taking place on the far side of the Castle Burn where not even one growing plant over a foot high has been spared.

“As a youth I spent many happy hours in this local idyll, swimming in the Castle Burn and it was here that my life long love for nature and for catching brown trout was spawned.

“In this once thickly wooded area nature thrived with all manner of bird life from heron to kingfishers.

“Any senseless destruction must stop now before our environment becomes a desert and memories of the local populace fade away into obscurity.”

Brian Malcomson, Senior Forest Manager at Scottish Woodlands, spoke exclusively to the Northern Constitution explaining the work currently being carried out on the land has been in planning since early 2015, and it took over two years before the first tree was felled.

Mr Malcomson said: “The work currently being carried out at the woodland beside Drenagh Estate is being done for safety, maintenance and environmental reasons and has been a long time in the planning.

“These woodlands have not been maintained in over 40 years, and the woodland is over stocked, we aim to maintain and protect it for future generations.

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