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Woodland Trust delighted as hedge plan is dropped

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

National campaign group The Woodland Trust has revealed its delight after an application to remove seven miles of hedgerow at a farm in Shropshire was withdrawn.

Representatives of the group said they believed the hedgerow in Chirbury, near Shrewsbury, played an important role conserving nearby ancient woodland and said such hedges were 'integral' to the countryside.

It comes after farmer Fraser Jones dropped an application to remove the hedgerow at Marrington Farm in the village after hundreds of people objected to the scheme.

Wildlife bodies including the Woodland Trust had also written to Shropshire Council voicing concern.

Mr Jones confirmed on Thursday he had withdrawn the application to allow him to consider a new application later this year once he has studied the hedgerow in greater detail. He said although he had applied to remove seven miles of hedge, he never planned to remove all of it.

The Woodland Trust objected to Mr Jones's initial application on the basis that there were a number of veteran trees and ancient hedgerows included which can be seen on Ordnance Survey maps dating back to 1836 and 1883 as well as pockets of ancient woodland.

Ancient woodland now covers just two per cent of the UK and is irreplaceable, the group argued. Nikki Williams, head of campaigning at The Woodland Trust, said: "Evidence suggests that the hedgerows at Marrington Farm act as natural corridors between the areas of ancient woodland also present on site, so we are delighted that this application has been withdrawn."

She added that the removal of the veteran oak trees would have breached planning guidance.

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