Conservation Work Party – Saturday 16th November 2019

Our next working party is to be held on Saturday 16th November commencing at 10.00am.  However, due to the current restriction on gaining access to the wood via the Intake Lane entrance we will be using the entrance from Hagg Lane. We have arranged with Forestry Commission that we will be able to park up to 2 cars with our equipment in Cottage Plantation and then walk into the wood along the public path.

Any volunteer who travels by car we would advise you to park at the Children’s Play Park at the start of Intake Lane by 9.50am.  If you normally walk into the wood could you also meet here at 9.50am.  Lifts will be made available to transport you to Cottage Plantation.

We will be working in the Millennium area of the wood.  All the necessary tools are provided.  Bring gloves if you can, and wear stout shoes or wellies.

Access to Hagg Wood – Statement from Dunnington Parish Council 4th November 2019

There has been much speculation in respect of the situation regarding the recent closure of the track from Intake Lane into Hagg Wood which has been open and used for many years by the residents of Dunnington. The action has raised a considerable amount of emotion and feelings within the community who see it as a valuable loss to residents. The track and Hagg Wood is in Kexby Parish.

This statement is made in full knowledge of the facts and with the co-operation of the new owners of the track in order to put the record straight.

The owner of the track has recently sold, separately, two fields adjacent to the track which also incorporates the track. This means that the first part of the track from Intake Lane is now owned by one party and the other part leading on to Hagg Wood is owned by another party. On completion of the sale the new owners were advised by their solicitors to close the track until such time as an outstanding access right of way matter was resolved and also to avoid any potential insurance liability issues. The track was subsequently closed on Sunday 13 October 2019 and a Private Land/No Public Right of Way notice posted on the gate at each end of the track and the gates locked.

This matter has been outstanding since 1997 when an application seeking to record a footpath between Kexby bridleway 8 and Kexby footpath, Hagg Wood, York was lodged with the local authority. The inaction of the City of York Council to deal with this matter over two decades has been a major factor in the current situation. In a letter received from the City of York Council dated 22 July 2019 they have acknowledged that this matter is still outstanding and will now be dealt with following a critical Local Government Ombudsman report into the way that the City of York Council’s Public Rights of Way function has been dealing with these types of applications.
See link to Ombudsman’s report: https://www.lgo.org.uk/decisions/transport-and-highways/rights-of-way/18-010-841#point1

The City of York Council has stated that they expect the application to be determined no later than 28 February 2020. If they decide to make an order they will do so as soon as reasonably practical after 28 February 2020.

In the meantime the track will remain closed, although the Ward Councillors are looking at the possibility of arranging a meeting with all interested parties to ascertain whether anything can be done to address the situation on a temporary basis until such time as the matter has been determined.

Updates will be provided as and when any further information becomes available.

Path Access Update to FHW Members – 31 October 2019

Dear Friend,

As you may well be aware, the path into Hagg Wood from Intake Lane, which has been used by Dunnington residents for many years, is now blocked and the access gate chained up to prevent local residents from using it. This is causing considerable inconvenience and loss of amenity to many users of our local wood. The Friends of Hagg Wood submitted Public Rights of Way claims on this path and another nearby path into Hagg Wood more than 20 years ago, but for reasons which we do not defend City of York Council have only recently announced their intention to process these claims in the coming months. Representatives from the City of York Council failed to respond positively to an invitation to attend a Ward meeting in Dunnington yesterday to explain the reasons for this delay.

However, we can increase the chances of the path from Intake Lane into Hagg Wood being fully recognised as a Public Right of Way if you continue to support us by sending in your name, and any other details you wish, using the attached form or via the link: https://haggwood.wordpress.com/contact to provide us with some information about your use of the path. This will help us organise a strong local petition and up to date Evidence of Use forms to submit to City of York Council to strengthen our existing claims to recognise this path as a Public Right of Way, which you can freely use to enjoy the wood once again. Please also encourage your friends and anyone else you know who has used this path to enjoy the wood to do the same. If you or they do not have email access, an alternative postal address to send it to is FHW 5 Church Lane, Dunnington, YO19 5PT.

We are actively exploring several ways forward in order to resolve this issue satisfactorily to keep this access path freely open on a permanent basis. If you help us as a volunteer on our working parties, we will also be in touch with you soon about these, since the path blockage is making access to the wood through this route impossible.

We will, of course, be continuing with our Autumn programme of other events. These include a presentation next Wednesday 6th November at 8pm in Dunnington Reading Room by Sergeant Stuart Grainger, of the North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Task Force, on the important subject of tackling wildlife crime. On Friday 8th November, we will make a visit to the Yorkshire Arboretum with its magnificent display of trees in their glorious Autumnal colours, meeting outside Dunnington Reading Room at 10am. So join us when you can!

With all good wishes
Dr David Mayston
Chairman, Friends of Hagg Wood
31st October 2019

Visit to the Yorkshire Arboretum Friday 8th November 2019

The Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard prides itself in being “a glorious 120 acre garden of trees from across the globe …a stunning landscape of parkland, lakes and ponds .. the backdrop for a collection of more than 6,000 trees from around the world”

This is a chance to explore this magnificent collection at a leisurely pace with the intention of seeing many of the trees in their glorious Autumn colours.

We will meet at Dunnington Reading Room at 10.00am to car share and drive to the Arboretum, where parking is free.

Admission to the Arboretum is £6.35 for adults (or £7 with a Gift Aid donation).

The Arboretum Café will be open for refreshments.

http://www.yorkshirearboretum.org/

Tackling Wildlife Crime – Wednesday 6th November 2019

Sergeant Stuart Grainger, Wildlife Crime Officer with the North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Task Force, will be giving us a presentation on bird of prey and other wildlife crime. The presentation will include recent cases and show how you can help, what to look out for, and how to report a suspected wildlife crime to police. Stuart has over 23 years’ experience with North Yorkshire Police.

Meet at 8pm in Dunnington Reading Room.

Admission is free to members, non-members £1.50.

Keep Hagg Wood Access Path Open

As you may know, the path into Hagg Wood from Intake Lane, which has been used by Dunnington residents for many years, is now being blocked and the access gate chained up to prevent local residents from using it. This is causing considerable inconvenience and loss of amenity to many users of our local wood. Are you unhappy about this?

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gate_access2_23Oct19

If so, please follow the link to our  Contact Us  page  to provide us with some information about your use of the path. This will help us organise a strong local petition and up to date Evidence of Use forms to submit to City of York Council to strengthen our existing claims to recognise this path as a Public Right of Way, which you can freely use to enjoy the wood once again.

The Friends of Hagg Wood submitted Public Rights of Way claims on this path and another nearby path into Hagg Wood more than 20 years ago, but for reasons which we do not defend City of York Council have only recently announced their intention to process these claims in the coming months. We can increase the chances of the path from Intake Lane into Hagg Wood being fully recognised as a Public Right of Way if you support us by sending in your name, and any other details you wish, via the above link. Please also encourage your friends and anyone else you know who has used this path to enjoy the wood to do the same. If they do not have email access, an alternative postal address to send it to is FHW 5 Church Lane, Dunnington, YO19 5PT.

Positive local action can then ensure that we do not permanently lose this valuable local amenity. Many thanks for your help.

 

 

The Grapevine Parish Magazine entry for November 2019

We have had two very productive work parties recently, cutting back brambles in the bluebell area of Hagg Wood, so hopefully next springtime we will be able to see an even better display of wood anemones and bluebells than we enjoyed this year. Now that the colours of the leaves are changing with the arrival of Autumn, it is an excellent reason to visit the wood.

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Break time on a recent work party

On 20th September a few of our members enjoyed a cycle ride to Selby Abbey, which is celebrating its 950th year, a total ride of about 35 miles, but with the help of a few café stops en-route.

On Wednesday 6th November Sergeant Stuart Grainger, Wildlife Crime Officer with the North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Task Force, will be giving us a talk in the Reading Room starting at 8pm, on tackling bird of prey and other wildlife crime. All welcome to this event, free to members, £1.50 for non- members. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served after the talk.

On Friday 8th November Friends of Hagg Wood members are planning to visit the Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard, where we hope to see the full beauty of the Autumn colours. We will be meeting outside the Reading Room at 10 am to arrange lifts and car sharing.

Our next work party is on Saturday 16th November. Everyone is welcome to join us for some rewarding work. We will probably be raking and removing the cut brash from the sides of the Stone Road and Main Ride as Forestry Commission’s contractors have recently been in the wood and cut back these areas.  Clearing the arisings is an important task as, if left to rot down, they can make the soil too rich.  This results in an abundance of brambles, thistles and dock rather than the smaller wild flowers, for example bird’s foot trefoil and vetch which make the wood so attractive. Please meet at the notice board at the entrance to Hagg Wood off Intake Lane at 10.00am.

Conservation Work Party – Friday 4th October 2019

Our next work party is on Friday 4th October and we would be delighted to see any new volunteers. We meet at 10.00am at the Welcome to Hagg Wood information board at the entrance to the wood. We work until 1.00pm with a break midway.

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We will be working with brush cutters and hand tools to cut back brambles in the Bluebell area to enable the bluebells to thrive in the springtime. All the necessary tools are provided. Bring gloves if you can, and wear stout shoes or wellies.