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Community Woodland

Our property backs onto a community woodland which has undertaken the planting of hundreds of sapling trees to one day create an established wood. No problem with that but there are three houses (of which ours is one) whose back garden borders this wood.

Several saplings have been planted which include oak a distance of 2-5 metres away from the back fences of the three properties.  This is surely not very sensible. I realize that not all the saplings will take and that trees take several years to establish but we intend to stay where we are for the next 30 years and don't want trees in excess of several feet less than 15 metres from our house.  

A neighbour has said that only low level shrubs were supposed to be planted where the saplings have and concerns that they voiced at the time were ignored.

I wondered if anyone had any advice before i voiced my concerns to the Group.


  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    Find out what type of sapling has been planted near your boundary before complaining. Any tree has more under the ground than above it. An oak will take years to reach any size and if it's been planted 2 metres away from you boundary, you'll be long dead before it gets anywhere near the boundary. If they are native trees, and they probably are, the chances of them causing problems will be small anyway. The benefits to the value of your property will be substantial as a house backing onto woodland is highly desirable and over time that could amount to thousands of pounds added to the value of your house.

    The benefits to wildlife will be huge, your children can enjoy them as can you. A walk in the woods on a summers day, kids in tow they will have the chance to grow up in an environment many would almost kill for.

    I'm not a member of this community project, in case you wondered, but having lived at one long past time on a featureless new build estate, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.   

  • Cheers for the advice. I have 2 youngsters and we regularly walk in the wood. We have a woodpecker, jays, magpies, robins, tits, sparrows, starlings & squirrels all visiting our feeders but our back garden is only 9-10 metres long so where is the sense in planting an oak tree plus others that close to a house?  The site is 5.5 acres big so there is plenty of room to plant tree saplings without having to plant them that close to residential property. 

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    I would have a word with the group. If it is not as specified then you would have a right to complain. Your kids will be long grown up before you will be able to have a walk in 'proper' woods! And you will be doing a favour to the next folk in your house. Who wants an oak tree over the boundary if your garden is that small!

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • Go out and replant it if it is such an issue. Now is a fine time to transplant them.

  • It really is a pity that this community group didn't have the courtesy and common sense to engage with the local community - you and your neighbours - before they set off on this scheme. So many of these initiatives are ill-conceived and so much time and money is wasted doing things that nature will do naturally. The climax vegetation of much of this country is woodland. Do these people think they're going to replicate an ancient woodland by your back fence? Have they analysed their aims and objectives? If it's wildlife enhancement, your bird-table suggests that they have achieved that target already. If it's to look nice, they should have a serious think about who it's to look nice for. On 5 acres they have plenty of space to create a buffer zone 30m wide of native shrubs near your house. Shrubs might generally be a better wildlife solution than trees over much of the site. What is on the site at present? Who does the land belong to?

    I'm not as sure as Dave is about the benefits to your property value either. It depends what the present use of the land is: if there's currently no access or little public use you could find that this will all change and you have a continuous parade of people and dogs just on the other side of your garden fence. Your garden will also ultimately suffer shading from tall trees, which is not to everyone's taste.

    You need to have a serious word with this group and whoever is involved with them - funders, Council - and insist on looking at the plans and the brief. Things can then be amended before they get out of hand. It's not a 'community woodland' if the most affected parts of the community are not allowed to be involved.

  • As Joe suggests, a buffer zone of native shrubs and rough grass would be fantastic and would provide homes for voles etc and thereby make hunting areas for owls.  There's no point in planting dense woodland right up to an area of housing - you have to have intermediate areas too, to make it a varied and viable habitat - they need to do their homework - if you do the homework you'll be better able to make your case - good luck image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Many thanks for your views and thoughts.

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