Image by Kev from Pixabay

The Woodland Trust has welcomed news that an ancient woodland beauty spot near Ashford is finally being cleared of mountains of dumped rubbish, but warned the appalling situation must never be allowed to happen again.

Since 2020, Hoads Wood, famed for its annual display of bluebells, has been devastated by up to 30 truckloads of illegal landfill a day.

In January, the Environment Agency (EA) blocked off the site to try to prevent further waste tipping and a ministerial directive has now been issued to clear up the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Jack Taylor, lead campaigner at the Woodland Trust, said:

“It’s great to see action has finally been taken to clean up the devastating waste dumped at Hoads Wood.

“The impact of up to 25-foot-high mounds of rubbish suffocating this fragile and irreplaceable ancient woodland and SSSI has been huge, but now recovery can start. 

“We are hugely grateful to local campaigners and other conservation organisations who have supported and helped keep up the pressure to get the appalling situation resolved. While we welcome the ministerial direction there needs to be an urgent investigation into how this occurred.

“Ancient woodland covers just 2.5% of the UK and is one of our richest and most biodiverse habitats. We cannot stand by and see even a fraction of what we have left damaged and destroyed in such a wanton manner. This should never happen again.”

By Ed

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