Following our recent articleregarding the locked gates in the Woodland, we are pleased to publish the Woodland Trust's response in full to Doreen de Cani's email:
Subject woodland locked gates
Thank you for writing to us expressing your concerns about woodland access to which we reply as follows.
Before receiving your email we had already added the topic to the agenda for our full trustee meeting held last Monday 6 June. While we have always published trustees contact details on notice boards and elsewhere we recognised that publication of availability of access keys and their proximity is needed and the contact details will be amended accordingly to facilitate access. In fact on this occasion a key was made available from a trustee before the ambulance arrived and they decided to evacuate the patient by chair so it was not necessary; even so we need to make improvements.
Looking more widely at the issue you raise, we do not believe we can merely unlock all gates and hence give free access to people and vehicles; our responsibility is wider than this and we need to protect regular users. In the past we have had issues with horse riders (galloping) in the woodland and motorbikes. Most users are on foot with sometimes children on bikes which we will encourage more as the school moves to give greater access via the woodland. Adults riding bikes are not welcome I am afraid given the mixed traffic we accommodate.
Your rhetorical question on a fire incident in the woodland is something that we address seriously and we prohibit fires; it forms part of our quarterly health and safety review. Think of the number of fire tenders in the county, the number of potential sites and I hope you can agree keys to all potential incidents are an impossibility on each tender. So the fire service is more than capable of surmounting any obstacle to their access; bolted wooded gates are a breeze!
I hope we have addressed your concerns and again thank you for alerting us. Please give me a call should you wish to discuss any concerns whatsoever.
Stuart Exell (Chairman, Tarvin Community Woodland Trust)'