Illegal tree felling at caravan site stopped

Haytop Country Park, Whatstandwell.
Haytop Country Park, Whatstandwell.

A council has served a court injunction against a company which is illegally felling trees at a Derbyshire caravan park.

Haytop Country Park in Whatstandwell was bought by Countrywide Park Homes last year - a nationwide operator of ‘luxury lodges’ at 16 sites across the UK.

Haytop Country Park, Whatstandwell.

Haytop Country Park, Whatstandwell.

Now, after applying for a lawful development certificate in February, the firm has started landscaping the park - and felling trees.

Officers from Amber Valley Borough Council visited the site two weeks ago to warn workers they were breaking the law.

However, after more felling occurred the subsequent weekend, the injunction was imposed last Wednesday.

A spokesman for Amber Valley Borough Council said: “Amber Valley Borough Council has served a court injunction to stop a company illegally felling any more trees at a caravan park in Whatstandwell.

It is just terrible. There are big piles of woodchips everywhere.

Former resident, Sara Gaynor

“The injunction was served on Leicestershire-based Haytop Country Park Ltd on Wednesday morning. The notice informed the company that further illegal tree felling could result in prison sentences.

“The Council was alerted to the tree felling on Friday. Officers visited the site and told workers that trees being felled were subject to Tree Preservation Orders and that felling must stop immediately.

“Despite the warning further tree felling took place over the weekend, resulting in the Council seeking the immediate injunction.”

Former resident, Sara Gaynor, said: “It is just terrible. There are big piles of woodchips everywhere.

Haytop Country Park, Whatstandwell.

Haytop Country Park, Whatstandwell.

“People have been trying to get up there to take photos but no one knows how many they have felled.

“The whole area was under a tree protection order and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and wildlife police officers have been involved as well.”

The caravan site was the subject of a bitter dispute with former residents earlier this year.

After being given just eight days to leave by the new owners, many were left out of pocket - although most have now got their money back.

Haytop Country Park, Whatstandwell.

Haytop Country Park, Whatstandwell.

Sara says she eventually managed to find another site nearby, but is still appalled at what is happening at the site now.

Countrywide Park Homes was approached for a statement but declined to do so.