02:08PM, Friday 19 July 2019
A petition has been launched in a bid to warn buyers of protection orders in place for an area of ancient woodland in Windsor.
The privately-owned Hemwood Dell is an area of open space at the top of Wolf Lane that is home to a variety of trees and wildlife.
The 2.45 acre site was put up for auction earlier this year for £250,000 but failed to sell.
In May, allocated areas of land of approximately 1.5 acres in total were put up for sale and six areas were sold, with two returning to the market before sales were finalised.
Former Royal Borough councillor Ed Wilson has set up a petition, which has now received more than 200 signatures, and launched savehemwooddell.com after concerns were raised the land could be used for building.
A listing on the website of estate agent Barnard Marcus states ‘there may be some strategic future potential value in this land, possibly for development’ but campaigners say the land is protected.
Several trees on Hemwood Dell have been protected by Tree Preservation Orders since the 1960s and it was listed as a designated conservation area in 2000.
The petition aims to inform potential buyers of building restrictions on the land and encourage the council to set up a fund to buy some or all of Hemwood Dell if it becomes available again.
“People are very grateful we are protecting the land for current and future generations,” said Mr Wilson.
Neighbours have also been campaigning to protect the land, including retired teacher Michelle Gregory, of Wolf Lane, who said she was ‘devastated when it was put up for sale as plots of land’.
She is seeking an ecology report to ensure the area is granted protection from Natural England due to its variety of plant life.
“I will never give up trying to save it,” said Michelle. “It’s too important.”
Pamela Walters, 49, from Hemwood Road, set up the Facebook group Hemwood Hub to share local news and has enlisted the help of local councillors including Jon Davey (Clewer & Dedworth East, WWRA).
The park is currently frequented by dog walkers, including Pamela, whose children used to play in Hemwood Dell.
“We want to raise awareness that this is happening,” she said.
Barnard Marcus had not responded to a request for comment at the time of going to press.
Land Registry files obtained by the Express list C Henry Bond & Company Limited as the most recent owner of the land. The company could not be reached for comment.
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