BATTLE lines have been re-drawn in the fight against tree felling at Doncaster Racecourse.
The latest round of tree cutting got underway on Doncaster Common this week.
Up to 80 per cent of trees across the 20 acre site are to be felled to open up the view of the racecourse for visitors.
Doncaster Common Action Group member, Alan Jones, said it appeared trees were being felled faster than over the ten years time scale stated by the Forestry Commission during which re-planting should take place.
“He added: “No regard is being paid to the potential impact it could be having on wildlife
“It is outrageous that £100,000 of taxpayers’ money is being used to pay for the felling of trees to benefit the customers of the racecourse.”
A spokesman for Doncaster Council said the Forestry Commission had stated an Environmental Impact Assessment was not necessary and a tree removal and habitat restoration programme was agreed with Doncaster Town Moor Golf Club. It was also agreed that the proposals would be implemented over a five year period from January 2011.
As part of the restoration programme the area had been sown with a grass seed mix and heather seed collected from the site and a number of heather plants had also been planted, said the spokesman.Replacement planting had taken place, including around 7,000 saplings been planted in Cantley Park.
Costs for work in 2010, he said, was £32,718.96, £12,000 of which was met by Arena Leisure and a further £3,000 came from the South Yorkshire Forest Partnership.
Mayor Peter Davies it was vital visitors to one of the borough’s “most important assets” could enjoy as “unrestricted a view as possible.”