'No evidence' of wildlife crime where Kenilworth trees felled yesterday

One of the trees felled yesterday
One of the trees felled yesterday

A police officer who visited the site of extensive tree felling in Kenilworth yesterday (Thursday May 17) found 'no evidence' of any wildlife crime.

The officer visited the site on the north side of Rouncil Lane between Rouncil Farm to Roundshill Farm where several trees were felled yesterday morning after concerns about nesting birds were raised.

Branches of another felled tree

Branches of another felled tree

And Inspector David Kettle of Warwickshire Police said: "We did send an officer last night. The officer attending established there was no evidence of any wildlife crimes being committed."

The trees were given Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) in October last year to protect them from felling.

But landowner Christine Archer was granted a 'thinning licence' from the Forestry Commission to cut down 46 dead trees. The licence takes precedence over any TPOs.

She rents the land to county councillor Alan Cockburn, who is her brother-in-law.

The trees were felled yesterday morning (Thursday May 17)

The trees were felled yesterday morning (Thursday May 17)

While he was on the site yesterday, Cllr Cockburn said: "We've got a licence from the Forestry Commission to fell these trees. The contractors said they will do a visual inspection to see if to see if there's birds nesting. If there's birds nesting, they won't fell the tree."

But Joshua Tebby, son of Rouncil Farm owner Ray Tebby, and Warwick district councillor Sue Gallagher protested the felling.

Joshua questioned whether the thinning licence was being followed properly, and Cllr Gallagher said cutting down trees during bird nesting season was 'outrageous'.

The Forestry Commission has still not responded for comment.

From left: Cllr Susan Gallagher, Joshua Tebby, and Cllr Alan Cockburn

From left: Cllr Susan Gallagher, Joshua Tebby, and Cllr Alan Cockburn