Calls for the axe to fall on Dog Hill beauty spot

LEDBURY town council could help to solve its financial headache by offloading the Dog Hill Wood beauty spot.

That is the view of town councillor Tony Bradford, who made the call at a a budget meeting.

The town council has already voted to call a referendum if its 2014 precept demand climbs above two per cent, which seems likely, and drastic ways of balancing the books are already being suggested, including getting rid of the wood, a leafy spot popular with dog walkers and ramblers.

Councillor Bradford made the call several times during the course of the meeting, although he did not make it a formal proposal.

He said: “We are looking at difficult times. We should close Dog Hill Wood. We can't afford it. We are looking at real-life situations today, because of cuts, such as whether we keep our toilets.

“We are in a difficult era now.”

But Ledbury mayor Terry Widdows said: “I don't think there would be any support for that idea.”

Ledbury Town Council must find more than £15,000 for tree felling work in the wood by the spring, following a recent survey which identified a number of diseased or leaning sycamores near to paths and borders.

Usually, about £4,000 is in the town’s annual budget for the wood's maintenance.

Speaking after the meeting Coun Martin Eager chairman of the town’s green spaces committee, dismissed Coun Bradford,s call as unrealistic.

He said: “The wood is a town amenity and you just can,t close it because you just can,t close a wood, What could you do, put a big fence around it?

“If it became a private wood, access would be restricted. There are few green spaces in the town as it is, and this is something we have got to keep.

“If Coun Bradford were to propose closing it, I think be would be in a minority of one.”

The ancient wood, which looms above Ledbury to the east, contains Green Lane, the ancient pack-horse route to Worcester.

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