Environment

Hall Farm is a Green Field Site. Today it boasts valuable areas of Ancient Woodland, namely Loaders Copse, Gravel Pit Wood, The Gorse, Dog Kennel Copse, Brick Kiln Copse and Furzen Coppice (also known as Parsons Coppice}, as well as the recognized Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) of Loaders Copse and Gravel Pit Wood and The Holt.

 

As the Wokingham District Veteran Tree Association Survey Coordinator for the Parish of Arborfield and Newland, I have been overseeing the Veteran Tree Survey at Hall Farm which has been undertaken by volunteers. To date approx. 165 veteran trees have been surveyed in this specific area and there are still more to be investigated to complete the survey at Hall Farm. These veteran trees are made up of a variety of species and may be viewed on the Survey Map Page on the WDVTA Website.

 

The suggested Hall Farm Development will, I fear, mean the loss of so much of our local countryside. We face the destruction of our precious trees and hedgerows-veteran trees cannot be replaced in a hurry even if there was a desire to do so. We must all surely acknowledge the benefit of such magnificent trees to our biodiversity? Hedgerows will disappear, LWS Sites and Ancient Woodland will be adversely affected if they survive the development of 4,500 newly built homes and all that this will entail. The habitat of the wildlife that presently enjoys the Hall Farm environment will be seriously threatened.

 

The local people, particularly those who live nearby in Arborfield and Arborfield Cross will also be adversely affected. The large, clean, unpolluted area of countryside with its public "right of way” where locals are able to walk, enjoy the open views and breathe in less polluted air, will be no more. This area of Hall Farm is valued, it is a place to visit and feel a sense of wellbeing. It deserves to be cherished rather than buried under houses and roads. I hope that this special and unique area of countryside can be recognized as such and that Wokingham Borough Council will find a way to implement an aim in their "Biodiversity Action Plan” to “Ensure policies are in place for the protection, management and enhancement of the local wildlife resource”.

With special thanks to Di Thorne, one of our local tree experts, for allowing this part of her submission to Wokingham Borough Council to be reproduced here.