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£1,000 reward offered for illegal tree felling information

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority is offering a cash reward in return for help in identifying those responsible for the felling of more than 30 protected trees in Freshwater East.

The trees, which were mostly ash, sycamore and hawthorn, were part of a woodland that is protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). Most of the trees were owned by the National Park Authority but some belonged to a local resident.

More than 30 trees that are protected by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) were illegally felled in Freshwater East © Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.​
More than 30 protected trees have been illegally felled in Freshwater East. Photo © Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.​

Video footage taken by a drone from above the site is available​ on our YouTube Channel.

Park Authority Warden Manager (South) Tim Jones said: “The trees weren’t felled for firewood as the timber initially remained on site in a tangled mess. This was a case of criminal damage and a clear breach of the planning regulations.

“It was also a very demoralising blow to many in the community who campaigned long and hard to get the mature woodland protected, and a complete violation of the protection and respect that Local Nature Reserve status should have given the area. 

“Nobody would have commissioned such work unless they stood to benefit from it, so the list of potential suspects is short. The police are continuing to investigate, but as yet there isn’t enough evidence to pursue things further.”

The Park Authority is offering a reward of £1,000 for information leading to a successful prosecution.

If you are found guilty of damaging a tree protected by a TPO, you could be hit with a fine of up to £2,500 per tree. Those found guilty of destroying a tree protected by a TPO can be fined as much as £20,000 per tree, although in serious cases the fine can be unlimited.

If you know who might have done this or commissioned the work, please contact Dyfed-Powys Police on 101 or the Authority on 01646 624800.

Published 02 May 2018


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