Protecting wood from vandalism

The Broadwater woodland
The Broadwater woodland

AMBITIOUS £30,000 plans to open a Fleetwood woodland to the public have been abandoned amid concerns about vandalism.

There were hopes that Broadwater Wood could be opened for public access, with paths and benches.

But now Wyre Council is content to look after the area as a managed wood – a move welcomed by Coun Margaret Birkett who lives in the area and has campaigned for improvements.

She said: “I am very pleased about the situation.

“At first I thought it would be nice to have it opened up but we have to think about the neighbours and everybody who lives around that area.

“It would not be a good thing. Residents are bothered about people going in there and making trouble. “I know there were some bird boxes put up in the trees and they lasted two days because people went in there and destroyed them.”

There has already been a big clean-up of the wood which has been a victim of fly-tippers in years past. Neighbours contacted Wyre Council 12 months ago to express their concerns about anti-social behaviour.

The council is concentrating on managing the wood well after a grant of £3,500 from the Forestry Commission.

A council spokeswoman said: “The woodland has been thinned by specialist tree fellers and staff and volunteer rangers have been cutting back branches and creating areas to plant new, healthy trees.

“This will preserve the woodland for the future and encourage new wildlife.

“There is a little more planting to do and the council will be encouraging more people to get involved in its conservation. “Strengthened fencing is also to be installed on Cedar Avenue to make it difficult for fly tippers to gain access.

“There was some soil contamination found in the woodland area, but no more than you would expect from a former landfill site.

“Given its current use, it was felt there was no need for further investigation.” A ‘Cleansweep’ exercise carried out last year resulted in 72 sacks being removed.