A campaign is being launched to save what’s said to be the “only ancient woodland left in Penarth” – the clusters of trees in the grounds of what is now Headlands School, on Penarth Head.
Last week Penarth Town Council voted to oppose an application by the National Children’s Homes to carry out a large-scale tree-felling and pollarding programme in the Headlands grounds. (See PDN http://tinyurl.com/je97wx2 )
Attending the council meeting were the distinguished academic Dr Max Wallis of Cardiff University and prominent environmental campaigner Anne Greagsby – both of whom are now seeking to set up a “local action group” to oppose two schemes threatening the Headland’s trees.
Dr Wallis and Ms Greagsby say the wooded headland is an important part of the view of Penarth and is now under threat from both the proposed clearance scheme at Headlands and the proposed Northcliff Lodge development – both of which were opposed by Penarth Town Council but which are awaiting a final decision by the Vale of Glamorgan Council. (For Northcliff Lodge development details see PDN http://tinyurl.com/joq9d9f )
They say that two applications would both have a significant impact on the whole appearance, character and biodiversity of the Penarth Head area. The two applications involve the felling of a total of 57 trees – and pollarding work on 26 others.
Their campaign will aim to secure official recognition for the remaining wooded area as an “Ancient and Semi-Mature Woodland” which would then be respected and protected under Welsh Government conservation policies.
The woodland on Penarth Head was once part of the land of the monks of the Augustine Black Canons and the summit of Penarth Head is said to have been a key point in the network of ancient “ley-lines” dating back to prehistoric times.
Dr Wallis and Ms Greagsby are hoping to tap into the expertise the Wildlife Trust, the Woodland Trust and the knowledge of local people to confirm the status of the Penarth Head Wooded Area as an ancient forest.
They can be contacted on 07936672132 or via http://penarthmatters.blogspot.co.uk