The decimation of mature oak trees at Silver Glades Caravan Park (CP, 07-05-21) raises a number of serious questions.

Why was the IW Council, when asked for someone in authority to visit the site while work was in progress on Saturday, April 24, unable to comply until the tree officer was working on the Monday?

Isn’t this rather like saying to a drowning man, ‘Just keep on swimming for 24 hours and then we’ll send out the lifeboat?’

Meanwhile, the tree felling continued, probably with renewed vigour.

We are told that the Forestry Commission, IW Coincil and Hampshire Constabulary are engaged in ‘ongoing enquiries’ but how long will these enquiries take?

And at the end of it all, what (if any) will be the penalties?

Read more: Residents speak out after Cranmore tree 'decimation'

Unless there are severe consequences for the site owner this will give a green light to any developer to fell trees that are ‘in the way.’

Unfortunately, these trees were not protected by a Tree Protection Order, but even if they had been, people should be on their guard. I’ll never forget what one developer told me when I asked him which trees on his site had TPO’s.

‘Look, love,’ he said, ‘I’m building executive homes here. Do you think I’m bothered about some ******* protected trees? I’ll pay the fine which will be peanuts compared to the profit I’m making’.

At the very least, those who fell trees illegally should be made to replace them with large specimens (as seen at the Chelsea Flower Show).

That would cost a penny or two!

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