09:54AM, Tuesday 28 June 2016
Dog walkers who feel they have been left in the dark about plans for nearly 1,500 pheasants to be reared in Windsor Forest for shooting launched a petition on Thursday.
Work on pens to house the birds has started, with areas used by dog walkers being closed off with chicken wire.
The forest is only accessible with a key, that can be bought from the Crown Estate, which manages the land.
The £30 key is available to people who live within one mile of the Orchard Lea Gate.
Matthew and Sarah Stubblefield, of Oakley Green Road, have been key holders for 15 years and use the area to walk their three dogs nearly every day.
The pair are leading a small group of concerned key holders who want to know where they stand.
Barbara Frame, from the Oakley Green, Fifield and District Community Association, said she feels it would be ‘scandalous to give up without a fight’.
She said she was told by workmen that she would be told to hand her key back soon.
A spokesman for the Crown Estate said this is not true and the area would only be closed off when shoots are taking place.
The group of residents said they feel they have not been consulted and are worried other key holders may not know.
Sarah has set up a Facebook page, Save Windsor Forest, to reach out to other key holders and a change.org petition calling on the Crown Estate to ‘change their minds’.
There will be displays at Windsor Racecourse and Legoland, local fireworks in Burnham and Twyford and smaller displays at schools in the Royal Borough.