Saturday, 20 March 2010

More outrages in Grove Wood

This picture shows a branch of a tree that was sawn off in Grove Wood. It might not look much, but a member of Snuff Mills Action Group has written this eyewitness report regarding an incident in Grove Wood this morning (Sat 20 March):

"Mr Jafari turned up in Grove Wood with two workmen today. Within minutes they got out chainsaws and began cutting wood along the river bank. Four members of Snuff Mills Action Group went to ask them to stop. We started by telling Jafari that he was breaking the law because he was disturbing protected species. Kingfishers were nesting and the otters were present but he denied there were any there - but perversely he did want to know where they were.

He then began to get very abusive towards us all, swearing a lot and pointing his finger in our faces. We remained as calm as we could and kept repeating that he should stop.

We then pointed out to the workmen, who were taking quite an interest, that they were being asked to break the law and asked if they realised this. They didn't of course but, all credit to them, they downed tools almost immediately and left soon after.

Jafari denied the Council had told him to remove the cabin, denied that all sorts of people had told him not to disturb wildlife and said he was going to put two more cabins in the woods. He even denied that he had been summoned for not removing the cabin and finally insisted that Bristol City Council had ordered him to go and do what he was doing with his chainsaws.

We went over to see what damage had been done after Jafari had gone and found that one branch of approx 6 inches diameter had been lopped from one tree and another tree had been sawn off completely. This tree was laying on its side (presumably one he bulldozed previously), but was most definitely alive and had lots of sprouting branches. I would have thought this broke the TPO and he's already got away with doing that once last Autumn so should not be allowed to do so again. I don't know what he might have done if we hadn't persuaded the workmen to stop."

This account would seem to amount to clear evidence that Mr Jafari has both contravened the Woodland Tree Preservation Order that prohibits any trees from being felled in Grove Wood, no matter how small they are. There may also be a case to be answered because of the apparent deliberate disturbance of protected species. We await the invesitgations of the appropriate authorities with keen interest.


Mogz said...

This madness must stop. Grove Wood must be taken into public ownership as fast as possible before its owner gets not only himself into serious trouble, but contractors who are taking on his work in good faith.

Anonymous said...

What is it with this landowner? Does he really think he is beyond the law? Perhaps if the law was properly enforced he woudln't. Surely the cost to the public purse in dealing with this matter is reaching the amount the Council could have found to acquire this woodland in the first place. This is the worse Council in the country! Thank goodness for community groups and the National Lottery.

stevem said...

To be fair to Bristol City Council, they have placed a Woodland TPO on the whole of Grove Wood, reversing a decision to allow major tree felling next to Blackberry Hill. They have removed permitted development rights from the woodland, meaning that the landowner would be breaking the law if he placed any more containers in Grove Wood and they have prosecuted him for not removing the existing container.

While they could pull their finger out and designate the upper path a public right of way and consider prosecuting the landowner for breaking the Tree Preservation Order again, they are probably as frustrated as we are at Jafari's tactics.

Anonymous said...

Well done everyone for stopping yet more damage to Grove Wood.

If it wasn't for you people the wood would have been totally trashed by now.

andy-s said...

This was an unpleasant business but a good tactic to use when confronting anyone working in GW for Jafari may well be to enlighten them about the illegality of what they are doing. It's quite obvious Jafari's not going to. BCC did well in getting the TPO and the PDR withdrawal in place but it took so long and is evidently not enough. We need the woods in public hands.

woody woodpecker said...

I think it is still very worrying that Mr Jafari thinks he is above the law. I am more than certain his activities are to disturb the wildlife and upset local people. He is not seen for months then he turns up for a few hours doing things he should not be doing.It's a shame he never cleared up all the litter that was sitting at the entrance of Grove Wood for months and removed the container the Council ordered him to.Perhaps he will be bothered to turn up next time he is summoned to court over the container issue.

stevem said...

I agree Mr Pecker.

Jafari can waste his and everyone else's time messing about in the woods apparently breaking TPOs and disturbing protected wildlife, but he doesn't have the decency to appear in Court when summoned to answer for his actions.

I think he thinks he will wear us all down with his childish pranks. Well we are here. We are watching and we are not going to give up until Grove Wood is in safe hands.

Anonymous said...

Hi - I posted anonymously on the last blog entry re Jafari. The long Easter weekend is approaching and the council offices will be closed. Please stay extra vigilant at this time in case he uses the opportunity to do some serious and irreversible damage to the wood. This is only the latest in a long line of planning violations carried out by this man.