Agency worker ‘took our wood’

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AN Environment Agency worker is facing discplinary action after taking wood from privately-owned land.

David Long and wife Valerie own a five-hectare piece of land at Elland Wood Bottom, Brighouse.

They noticed felled wood disappearing after Christmas and were tipped off it was being removed by someone driving an Environment Agency van.

They found 12 cubic metres of timber – worth around £1,000 – had been chopped up and taken away.

The wood had been felled so repairs could be made on pylons.

The Environment Agency confirmed one of their employees had taken the wood but was not acting on their orders or during work time.

They admit they were “extremely serious failings”. A letter to Mr Long said: “Acting without authority from the Environment Agency, the worker used one of our vehicles to remove felled timber from your property.”

He is now facing discplinary action but will not face police charges because he asked someone on the land if he could take the wood and did not know that person was not the landowner.

Mr Long has had his application to the Environment Agency for compensation turned down.

“This isn’t about the material value,” said Mr Long.

“We’re taking a very dim and robust attitude towards this type of behaviour,” he warned.