Thousands of trees could be cut down in a quarry repair scheme

Around 2,000 trees could be felled at a Mansfield beauty spot in a bid to stabilise a quarry face.

Friday, 9th February 2018, 12:43 pm
Updated Friday, 9th February 2018, 12:45 pm

Mansfield District Council has announced plans to chop down trees at the top of a cliff in a bid to prevent rock falls at the former Berry Hill Quarry site.

Under the plans the authority will create an access road for heavy goods vehicles to deliver materials to carry out work to make the cliffs safe to houses beneath.

But campaigners say there is already a suitable access road at the bottom of the quarry cliff face.

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James Young of Barry Hill Road above the quarry said: “They are planning to repair the rock face but they are going about it the wrong way.

“They want to clear all the trees to allow access for heavy plant equipment to repair the cliff face but it is absolute madness.

“It would make far more sense to repair it from below - there is already access there .

The trees they are going t cut down are right at the back of my property.

“The area is beautiful and there is a lot of wildlife there.

“The trees on the top retain the water - if they were to go it would make the situation much worse..

Berry Hill resident Alec Maxfield added: “The area is beautiful there are pigeons, badgers squirrels and hedgehogs, the environmental aspect is unbelievable. Surely getting rid of the trees will accelerate erosion.”

Campaigners have set up an online petition ‘Save Berry Hill Quarry Trees’ which has 640 signatures.

A spokesman for the group said: “Cutting down all the trees would potentially make the cliff tops more susceptible to stormwater runoff, soil degradation erosion and landslides and will change the character of our area for the worse.

“These are temporary works and we believe a better engineering solution must be available which doesn’t permanently destroy the homes of our local wildlife.”

The group’s solution is for the machines to access from the bottom of the cliff and any work on the top from a temporary access along Berry Hill Lane instead of Windsor Road .

The spokesman added: “Although a part road closure would probably be required this could save hundreds of these trees and conserve many of our wildlife habitats.”

Councillor Bill Drewett, Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities at Mansfield District Council, said: “We can confirm that essential work to stabilise the cliff face of Berry Hill Quarry needs to go ahead.

However, the project is still in the early stages and no decision has been taken on what work will need to take place above the former quarry face or the exact access arrangements to the site to enable the works to take place.

“The council has previously sought the views of an internationally renowned geotechnical firm on the underlying causes and the best way to prevent landslides on to the homes and gardens below.

“The council is committed to making sure that the most suitable solution is found and for this reason the council is currently in the process of appointing a geotechnical engineer to draw up a design for the project.

“This design will determine what work is required, how it will be done and what other work, including access roads and tree felling, will be required.

“Whilst every effort will be taken to minimise the loss of any trees, if trees have to be removed, the council will seek to plant two trees for every one removed, in line with our tree policy, in a suitable location.”