Anglesey man must pay more than £36,000 for illegal tree felling
A man from Anglesey has been ordered to pay more than £36,000 for the illegal felling of a woodland site in Prestatyn following an investigation by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).
On Tuesday 20 September, Peter Lee, aged 47, from Bodedern, pleaded guilty at Mold Magistrates Court to ‘Section 17(1) Felling a tree without authority in a case requiring a licence’ under the Forestry Act 1967.
Lee was fined £27,679.68 and made to pay costs amounting to £9,127.05.
In December 2021 NRW Officers responded to reports that an area of woodland known locally as Tanlan Banks, near Prestatyn, had been felled without a licence.
Investigations found that Lee had felled 0.5 hectares of native broadleaf woodland that buffers ancient semi-natural woodland – amounting to an area that would cover over 20 tennis courts.
The site was also levelled with rubble and soils. The woodland is a Designated Site of Interest for Nature Conservation by Denbighshire County Council.
Callum Stone, NRW Team Leader Forest Regulation and Tree Plant Health, said: “Mr Lee showed a blatant disregard for the law with his actions by felling a much-loved local woodland.
“Woodland loss is a significant threat to habitats and the species they support. Woodlands are an important store of carbon and protecting them is an important measure in combating the climate and nature emergencies.
“To fell trees a licence may be needed – this is to ensure the felling is done responsibly and areas are replanted if needed.
“We would like to thank everyone involved in helping make this a successful prosecution.”
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So who profits from the £36,000? Will it be given to charity or shared out amongst the rich? I understand the person may have done wrong but why should the suited brigade profit from it. Should he not have been told to just pay court costs and the rest spent on planting saplings and the care of them. The suits should roll their sleeves up and do some graft for a change instead of cashing in on penalty fines. Nice work if you can get it!!
The £36,000 is probably just a small dent in the profits from having that area of land cleared for building. The fine is much too low.
Has planning permission be granted then?
There should have been a short period in custody to go with that. At least 1 day per tree.