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Tree felling on the Malvern Hills is understandably causing considerable upset to some of the locals.  As one lady has just been quoted as saying:

“We were horrifed to find tractors and trailers churning up the native bluebells, contractors felling trees that have been never been touched in generations. My daughters were extremely upset and have asked me why they were cutting down trees as it goes against everything they are taught.”

Midsummer Hill Iron Age Fort – Wikimedia/Creative Commons

The trouble is, they haven’t been taught the whole picture. It’s not good to lose the trees but it’s also not good that the trees are damaging the Midsummer Hill Iron Age Fort. Trees growing on ancient monuments – sometimes deliberately planted – are usually regarded as acceptable but sometimes the roots are causing such major damage that removal is the best option.

Jennifer Grantham, the Conservators’ deputy conservation officer, summarised the conservation cleft stick that often arises:

“Midsummer Hill is designated as both a Scheduled Ancient Monument by English Heritage for its archaeology and a Site of Special Scientific Interest by Natural England for its wildlife value.

I can appreciate that the work may be shocking but I can assure you that the work is a result of advice and consultation with various partner bodies including Natural England, the National Trust, owners of the Hill fort and their archaeologist, the county archaeologist, English Heritage and a local ornithology expert.”

The aim of the work was to clear the less ecologically important trees to protect the archaeology from root damage and thus improving the long-term stability of the Iron Age hill fort so that future generations can enjoy it.”

UPDATE:

The following Comment has just been posted by “Credashill” –
I’ve visited the site and I’m deeply concerned that the work hasn’t followed established guidelines.
The operation was undertaken in wet weather using heavy machinery and has resulted in soil disturbance and deep rutting on the site, especially on the track through the southern gate of the hillfort. In addition to this, brash has been burned in a number of different locations on the site including the summit and the ramparts.
I’ve taken several photo’s of the site (which you are welcome to reproduce) and would be very interested to hear your opinion: http://www.flickr.com/photos/credashill/

Further detailed criticisms have been added by ” Evendine” and several others.

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