I thought I should try and clarify what is happening in Sprotbrough Plantation. This part of the wood is not considered a SSSI and is managed by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust on a long lease. No work had been done in the woodland for many years and, therefore, many trees had grown too close together, thus restricting the growth of them all. Since they took over the lease, the Don Gorge Conservation Volunteers have helped YWT with thinning over the past two or three years near the top on the right-hand side of the right-hand fork. Apparently, YWT considered it also needed doing on the left-hand side as well and a contractor has been hired to do this. I agree a lot has been taken out, so this is not really thinning and it does look awful at the moment. I can, however, agree with Dave Glover's comment that this will let in lots of light and should promote growth of plants and flowers which has been restricted for a long time now.
Having had a conversation with one of the contractors, I am told some re-planting will take place, though I haven't had this confirmed by YWT. The wood taken out, which has been many lorry loads, will be used for firewood as apparently it was not good enough or big enough to plank.
At present, I haven't been able to locate who is responsible for the felling near the bridge on Nursery Lane. I will write again when I hear back from those I have contacted.
In the meantime, a SOLD sign has appeared on the woodland on the right-hand side corner of Nursery Lane and Cadeby Lane. The purchaser is not yet known, but there are some Tree Preservation Orders on this land and the biodiversity officer at DMBC informs me that they would not agree to felling taking place here.
I hope this clarifies the situation to some degree. I was shocked when I saw all the timber coming down the lane past my home and went to see the large area of land cleared, but we can only hope it is worth it in the end. No doubt the next thing will be the electricity board contractor clearing trees under the power line which goes up the wood. Last time they didn't just take a swathe under the lines as normal, but cleared the land right to the footpath edge!
Liz Reeve, Secretary, Don Gorge Community Group