Ancient woods ‘crucial’
KEY findings from a survey looking at Ashford’s ancient woodland have been presented at Singleton Environment Centre. Speakers included representatives from Ashford Borough Council, Natural England, the Forestry Commission and BTCV (British Trust for Conservation Volunteers). Council leader Paul Clokie, said that the publication of the survey was timely in view of the need to understand and safeguard Ashford’s rich heritage of ancient woodland for future generations at a time of intense development. Ancient woodlands are widely recognised as being irreplaceable habitats and local authorities have a key role to play in protecting this unique resource. They are required to identify any areas of ancient woodland that do not have statutory protection. Ashford borough is one of the most heavily wooded landscapes in the country, with more than two thirds of its woodland classified as ancient.
From left, Virginia Hodge, BTCV, Cllr Paul Clokie, leader of Ashford Borough Council, Patrick McKernan, the Forestry Commission/Natural England, Sally Marsh, joint director High Weald AONB Unit, Alan Betts, regional director South East England Forestry Commission and Philip Sansum, the High Weald AONB Unit