Isle of Wight caravan park faces legal action over tree felling

Mature oak trees were felled at the Silver Glades Caravan Park, on Solent Road, Cranmore, in April 2021, which residents branded a ‘decimation’.

It is thought around 70 large trees were felled over a two-day period at the caravan park.

Local councillor, Peter Spink, said while a decision to prosecute has only just been made, it sends a clear message that action will be taken against those who ‘decimated’ nature and the beauty of our Island.

Residents said the trees were home to red squirrels, dormice, bats and birds and an area of woodland was ‘flattened’, showing there was ‘no care for the environment’.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Following the ‘decimation’, residents successfully got the Isle of Wight Council to enforce a Tree Preservation Order on the rest of the site.

It stopped any further destruction without permission, on the grounds the trees were at risk from development pressures and inappropriate work.

The matter was then investigated by the Forestry Commission and was referred to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Isle of Wight County Press:

The government body, DEFRA has now confirmed the case has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service, which has decided to commence legal proceedings.

DEFRA was unable to comment further as it is still an ongoing incident.

Cutting down trees without a felling licence, where one is required, currently carries an unlimited penalty if convicted at the Magistrates Court.

The penalty could be increased to an unlimited fine if the court wishes.

Cllr Spink said the courts also have the power to impose a replanting order.

Isle of Wight County Press:

He said: “It will take many years for the woodland to be restored to its former glory but at least the felling will in the fullness of time be reversed.”

Previous attempts have been made to contact the owner of Silver Glades Caravan Park.

Isle of Wight County Press | News