Damage to young oaks irresponsible

THE control of brambles and excess blackthorn growth has for some time been a part of Hastings Borough Council’s meadow management policy in Hastings Country Park.

Therefore, one would not have had reason to question the arrival of a tractor-powered flail driven into Fishponds Meadow on a November day in 2011.

I viewed the work from the top of the adjacent hillside. Scattered among the brambles were many young native oak trees that I had noted getting larger over the years.

I was shocked to see the flail rip right through them. When the work had been completed, I went into the little meadow and counted more than 70 oaks hewed down to ground level.

I have been an arboricultural officer (tree officer) working for the London borough of Lambeth for more than 20 years and in all that time I have never witnessed such workmanship.

These young oaks were progressing so well and had a great future in the meadow fringes. In a country park dedicated to wildlife conservation, how could Hastings Borough Council be so irresponsible?

TONY WELWIG

Rocklands Lane