Tuesday 8 October 2019
Yesterday, 7th October 2019, the CCB wrote to Mr Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport to ask him to pause the felling of trees in Great Missenden, a picturesque village in the heart of the Chilterns AONB. The felling is due to start work on the 14th October and includes eight trees planted by Chiltern Woodlands Project 30 years ago.
With the HS2 review in progress, and due to report in December, we consider there is no justification for carrying out works which harm the AONB when the project might be cancelled.
The Government has a legal duty of regard towards the purposes of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the AONB (Section 85 of the Countryside and Rights of Way act 2000). With this in mind we have asked Mr Shapps to intervene to pause the felling of these trees and all enabling works in the Chilterns AONB, while the HS2 project is under review, in order to safeguard the protected landscape and demonstrate regard to conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of the AONB.
As far as we are aware, this is the first concerted tree felling we have seen within the AONB. When (and if) the works commence, we will see areas of Ancient Woodland felled (Jones’s Hill Wood) and whole lengths of hedgerow and lines of mature trees felled to allow access for vent shaft construction, for example Bottom House Farm Lane, Chesham Road.
Above: Copy of the letter received by local residents of Great Missenden giving notice of the "enabling works"