Reader letter; Stop ruining woodland

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Many readers will know of Shaw Wood or Blue Bell Wood as it is known locally in Oakerthorpe near South Wingfield.

Many will have walked through the wood in late April and marvelled at the carpet of b lue bells that extend from one end of the wood to the other and on still evenings the heady scent that comes from them.

It takes many hundreds of years for blue bells to populate an area this size and is a good indicator of ancient woodland.

Shaw Wood has a fairly open canopy which lets in shaded light which blue bells love it also has the effect of keeping out invasive plants like bracken and brambles.

Over the past few years Derbyshire County Council have embarked on a programme of woodland management of Shaw Wood that meant they have cut down several hundred trees and opened up the canopy to let more light in. The effect has been dramatic - the wood is now one mass of brambles which has smoothered many of the bluebells and overun the pathways.

Still the tree felling goes on. Last week however a new set of workers appeared not felling trees but trying to mow and clear the invading brambles and to quote one of the men “to give the blue bells a chance”.

This wood has stood the test of time and become one of the finest blue bell woods in Derbyshire but if there is not an immediate change of strategy in the management of this wood by Derbyshire County Council the blue bells will be lost to this and future generations.

John Hardwick

South Wingfield