Neighbour calls for action over mystery axeman

Neighbour calls for action over mystery axeman

DUMPED: Copper cables have been abandoned in a lane off Port Road East

TIMBER: Steve Prior has discovered trees have been axed

CUT DOWN: Ancient trees are being removed from woodland

DAMAGE DONE: Steve Prior examines the damage to a 50-year-old tree

First published in News

A BARRY neighbourhood watch co-ordinator has called for action after his complaints about a mystery tree feller, appeared to fall on deaf ears.

Granddad-of-four Steve Prior said he had alerted police commissioner Alun Michael, his ward councillor and Vale cabinet member for visible services, Rob Curtis and the Vale Council after noticing trees, up to 50 years old, were being axed in ancient woodland near his Port Road East home.

Retired builder, Steve said so far he had not received much response to his concerns and during the past few months 14 living trees had been cut down and removed from the wood.

Witnesses, he said, had observed a vehicle and trailer and heard chainsaws at work.

Steve, 66, who has lived in and walks his dog the area, has now set up an action committee designed to protect the woodland from further abuse.

He said: “It’s a lovely area to walk, but when you are going in and seeing the destruction...Everyone is disgusted by what is going on. I feel so helpless - seeing something before your eyes, but people in authority don’t seem to be able to act.

Vale Council director of development services, Rob Thomas said the authority was aware of some tree work within a wooded area, which is protected by a tree preservation order, to the west of the old entrance to the South Wales Golf Driving Range.

He said: “Although this land appears to be used regularly by walkers it is in fact, privately owned and not meant for access by the public. Two site visits have been carried out in response to telephone concerns. Complainants have been advised to contact the Council in the event that anyone is actually observed on site carrying out the work so that an immediate visit can be undertaken by officers. However, as yet the Council does not have information to identify the person or persons responsible for the unauthorised felling of trees.”

He added: “The responsibility for the woodland lies firmly within the owner’s hands. Efforts are being made to contact the owner. If legal action is pursued it will be against the owner as well as those responsible for felling the trees."

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