|My photo of Tilgate Golf Course on a warm October day in 2015|
I was very pleased to receive unanimous support for my Motion at last week’s Full Council meeting at Crawley Borough Council, which reflected the public concerns about the woodland management at Tilgate Golf Course. While sadly, some things cannot be undone, I am now expecting improvements going forward and I hope that public confidence can return.
It is regrettable that the Council was having to play catch-up, but now that the Council has caught up with public concern, I am keen that everyone works constructively with the golf course operator to ensure future works are carried out sympathetically.Last weekend, I and Crawley’s MP Henry Smith brought Liz Truss MP, the Secretary of State for the Environment, to visit the woodland at the golf course to see for herself what has caused so much upset locally. While we were viewing an area that had been completely cleared of trees, a couple of passing cyclists called out to us saying that the area had been ruined. What was welcome was Liz telling me about the Conservative Government’s commitment to plant 11 million trees during this Parliament up to 2020. This follows on from another 11 million trees than have been planted since 2010 under the Coalition Government.
Liz Truss launched a scheme in December to provide one million trees to be planted in a community programme with schools across the country. Working together with The Woodland Trust the project will initially be open to 7,000 primary schools in England, which will receive native trees including cherry, silver birch, hawthorn and hazel. I think this is an excellent way to involve children in caring for their environment and to appreciate the beauty of trees.Locally, Crawley’s Conservative Councillors are committed to looking after our precious natural environment. This includes our woodland and green spaces as well as wetland environments such as lakes, ponds and streams. A new Conservative-run Crawley Council will look for ways to be friendly towards our local wildlife and seek to enhance areas in and around the town that provide a valuable habitat for Crawley’s rich and varied wildlife.