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Chipperfield Common

2nd of February 2005

In November about thirty local people walked through the woods with Phillip Russell, the Woodlands Officer, to learn of Dacorum`s future plans for the woods. Their aim is to manage the woodland as a sustainable, wildlife habitat whilst enabling anyone to enjoy walking there. The present budget for this work is very small at £5000 per annum. Due to rapid cost increases for insurance and safety requirements, this will cover only five days work by a three-person team of tree surgeons. The Dacorum plan does spread work for the whole woodland area over five years, but it appears that the forecast rate of spending will not be enough to meet their objectives. However, if woodlands are neglected, trees can suffer from premature decay and choking undergrowth.
Dacorum is entrusted with Chipperfield Woods for the benefit of local inhabitants but they have many similar responsibilities and so calling for more cash may not meet with success. I wonder whether we who live here and gain so much enjoyment from the woods might consider giving a helping hand to safeguard the pleasure of the Common for many years to come. If, for example, we could put together the occasional working party of, say, 15 people to work under supervision, we could do a lot of surface clearing which is required. Also if we could raise £2000 each year, that would permit an increase of 40% in skilled tree surgeon work. Perhaps we in the village, together with frequent visitors, could become” Friends of Chipperfield Common “to help preserve this wonderful amenity.
If my thoughts strike a chord with you, then please send your comments to the Editors through the mailboxes.
Donald Main

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