I read the letter by Judith Patrick the Property Manager for Hardcastle Crags (Tour say, March 10). Her picture shows the true glory of the Crags. This is the view of trees we aim to preserve.
I enclose some pictures taken on Friday March 11 this year. You can see the destruction. Logs are piled ready for collection as they are near the road and transport is then easy. A spin doctor cannot disguise the evidence. These pictures were taken as we walked from Gibson Mill to the car park .
In the letter wildlife welfare is mentioned. Why are you cutting trees down at the start of the nesting season? Surely mammals and other land based creatures need shrub and brush cover? How many colonies of hairy ants have been destroyed by dragging logs over the ground to the road? Deer avoid the area round the Crag as it has been denuded of trees - to create a vista?
Where open spaces have been made in the woodland this has created a wind funnel for the north wind and two beautiful beech trees near the water have been damaged since Christmas. They have now been cut down. More wood to burn. Less cost. Surely this problem of wind damage was foreseen by the experts.
You claim your style of woodland management is for the benefit of local people. Perhaps you will consider changing the management if enough people object to this destruction?
You say in your letter that in the last two years nearly three Hectares of trees have been felled. That’s just less than FIVE international football pitches. In the previous eight years it was FOUR hectares. A total of seven Hectares destroyed in ten years. We calculate this is equivalent to eleven International football pitches. Plus I quote (Other fellings have been undertaken). These are your figures. Trees take decades to regenerate. If felling continues at this present rate then in 2021 then the National Trust will have felled trees to the equivalent of over thirty football pitches. That is not counting the casual felling or storm damage.
It doesn’t include the trees they have ringed this year. Ringing a tree involves taking a piece of bark from the trunk of the tree so that no nutrients can be transported to the branches and leaves because all the vessels have been severed. The tree dies of starvation. It is a cruel slow death and of course a dead tree has to be felled.If a wood is to be used for fuel then trees need coppicing. There are many examples of this woodland management in Calderdale.
We are hoping the National Trust will listen to our concerns. We wish to preserve the trees for future generations. They take a human lifetime to replace.
How can we persuade the Trust to change policy? Will they listen to the public who do not agree with this destruction? It would be ironic for the Crags to survive flooding, (fifty years ago a reservoir was planned) only to be destroyed now by the people who are supposed to be looking after it .
Please, please help. In ten year’s time over thirty football pitches of trees will have been destroyed. Peter Ward