Small Woodland Owners' Group

Mindless vandalism

Paperwork, grants, legal issues

Postby RichardKing » Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:06 pm

Was down at my woods this afternoon, felled & loaded some Sycamore that I am clearing out of the coppice.

On the way out I took a different route, found it blocked by trees felled across the track, most of them mine, including a foot diameter Birch. They had been crudely axed and also several other trees had been deliberately hacked about. Some so badly that they will need to come down. Strongly suspect local kids, a few yards away on the same track they had constructed a bike jump. The old "tree house" (pics on this site) was trashed as well. Bit depressing.

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Postby James M » Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:35 pm

That's criminal damage mate, report it to the police and kick up as big a stink as you can with your neighbours and anyone else who'll listen - was there axe or knife damage? So they're carrying knives as well?, the law doesn't like that one little bit. Threat to your personal safety etc. Also report anything that was stolen. Then it's all more power to your elbow when you apply for planning permission for a stone 'storage' building. ;-))

I caught two armed blokes in our woods one night poaching when I was on my own and once I got their names etc. reported it to the law and our solicitors, my report to the police had out solicitors cc'd on it. That got their attention. In any event, you don't tolerate crap like that going on, do as much as you can legally.

I'll say it again - you do not tolerate crap like that going on or they'll be back - guaranteed. It's your property, make sure you defend it.

James M
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Postby wood troll » Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:45 pm

Hi Richard,

That sounds really depressing. Having been a local councillor, I would suggest getting in touch with the police to report the incident. It is a destruction of your property and they should log the incident so that if it keeps happening they will start looking into it.....

or Got any friends with big dogs that need walking??

wood troll

wood troll
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Postby DaveTaz » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:18 pm

Hi Richard, not nice at all.

Our woodland neighbours suffered from Unwanted visitors burning a load of their stacked firewood. It was reported to the police and they took it quite seriously saying if they were able to find who did it they could prosecute for theft and criminal damage. As above, report it and kick up a fuss!

Try putting up a sign indicating the use of pesticides or that there may be people with fire-arms on site and borrow or hire an automatic bird scarer! Might scare the little tikes off for a while! Good luck!

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Postby RichardKing » Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:20 pm

Reported it to the police, took photographs & spent three hours clearing & loading the trees.

Several pieces of evidence left at the scene of the crime, leather axe head cover, long handled trowel, & a slasher with a four foot long wooden handle.

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Postby cstocks » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:09 pm

My experience is that you need to file several crime reports before the police will pursue the matter. I'd filed three, for theft and damage, before I was contacted by the crime prevention officer. No doubt it's easier to get the attention of the police if you can report trespassers illegally using firearms.

The advice the crime prevention officer gave me was all reasonable enough but, basically, you will find the onus is on you to secure your own property. For example, the biggest problem I had was with my beehives being pushed over; the advice was to strap them down.

Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do to secure trees :o(

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Postby carlight » Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:20 pm

hi ,

heart breaking when you find this happening .

i also suffer from folk who think that they are doing me a favour by slashing willow/sycamore in my plantations - myself , i like the diversty/nobleness of a bit of self-set .

love the idea of the bird scarer !

what winds me up the most (warning-grumpy woodsman rant )is the aftermath of sojourns by "countryside rangers" who ,to save getting a proper job ,take groups of children into the ecomargins to badly cut down those precious corners of natural habitat , in the name of enviromental awareness .

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Postby The Barrowers » Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:51 pm

Look at the phyrotechnic pages.

Interesting if nothing else.

I do not like to disturb wildlife but tresspassers ?

A few well placed signs may deter plus a few stun grenades with trip wires and man traps (no only joking but suggested before, I am not inciting anything).

Who knows what will make these people keep off other peoples property.

Maybe find out who they are and walk around their garden?

Oh well see what happens.

B and T
The Barrowers
The Barrowers
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Postby The Sawyer » Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:22 pm

As suggested by others first port of call the police it may also be of interest that Sussex and Hampshire police are have/ are setting up a country watch scheme with radios linked to the police system.

The other suggestion of using security mines, although legal does leave you open to prosecution if the trespasser suffers medical harm (i.e. a heart attack) having said that they are very effective at deterring unwanted beings animal or person.

just some thoughts may be of help regards kester

The Sawyer
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Postby Exeldama » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:30 pm

My dad ( 75) had 5 vintage cars stolen from a yard where they were being stolen (all beetles). The police response was to tell him to check all the local scarp yards himself..!!

Wo betide anyone who i catch causing mischief on my wee bit of England, i will bury them in a shallow grave and plant a smashing oak upon them, at least that way they can put something useful back.

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