Thatcham 'Plantation Wood' TPO

Avatar for cpreimogen
By cpreimogen
1st October 2020

Tree Preservation Order application to protect Thatcham’s ‘Piggy Wood’ a success

Bradfield District Chairman Edward Golton rapidly went into action when news of ancient woodland affectionately known as ‘Piggy Wood’ in Thatcham was up for auction at short notice.

Knowing that the sale of the woodland more formally known as ‘The Plantation’ couldn’t be prevented, but recourse to other actions could instead help to stop damaging development on this important piece of valuable ancient habitat, Mr Golton quickly made an application for a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) to protect all the trees on the 6 acre woodland with its valuable habitat and its high value to the local community.

A Tree Preservation Order can prevent all the trees being felled immediately as so often happens in such situations when land is quickly sold. Fortunately West Berkshire Council’s Tree Officer acted swiftly in response to our concerns, and the concerns of others who had made a similar application, and TPO notices went up the next day.

Edward Golton, CPRE Berkshire Bradfield District Chairman said:

‘CPRE Berkshire, the countryside charity, fully supports the Thatcham community in the value they place on this woodland and its biodiversity as a green lung in this much developed part of Thatcham. Ancient woodland is an irreplaceable habitat, and whilst the sale of the woodland can’t be prevented, West Berkshire can stop houses being built on it. The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that ‘development resulting in the loss or deterioration of irreplaceable habitats (such as ancient woodland and ancient or veteran trees) should be refused, unless there are wholly exceptional reasons and a suitable compensation strategy exists.

We are pleased that Jon Thomas, Tree Officer at the Council acted immediately in response. We look forward to the Council’s continued support in ensuring that future generations have access to this wonderful woodland for generations to come.’

Further reading resources:

CPRE’s guidance ‘What’s Special to You: Landscape Issues in Your Neighbourhood Plan.’ It contains advice to help community groups develop strong landscape policies in their Neighbourhood Plans, to influence future development decisions that would affect their local area. It will also be helpful for anyone who is interested in protecting what is special about their local landscape. Examples include existing Neighbourhood Planning policies that could inspire your own, such as to conserve landscape character, hedgerows, designate local green space and protect dark skies.
The government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)
The government’s Policy Paper, published in February 2019:
Keepers of time: a statement of policy for England’s ancient and native woodland
Advice on trees and hedgerows by West Berkshire Council including information on council-owned trees, trees or woodland protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), Trees in Conservation Areas, Hedges and Hedgerows, and Tree Guides.

Walking through the woods - Fureya Nelson-Riggott