Norbury Park Forum meets for first time since 2019

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By Patrick Bisgood, FRA representative to Norbury Park forum

In April 2020, management of Norbury Park reverted to Surrey County Council from Surrey Wildlife Trust. 

Unfortunately, this change occurred as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold, resulting in the suspension of the Norbury Park Community Forum.

Following questions to Surrey County Council, and including representations from the FRA, the forum has been reinstated and the first meeting in 19 months will take place on Tuesday 22nd June.

Fetcham residents are invited to contact myself, Patrick Bisgood, as the FRA representative, with any questions they may have about the management of the estate, at patrickbisgood@aol.com.

Over the many months of the pandemic Norbury Park has become more popular than ever as a safe place to relax and exercise.

There are questions over the future of the Norbury sawmill site, the response to ash tree dieback, and preventing illegal activities on the land such as fly tipping.

At the time of the last meeting, issues included parking charges at countryside car parks which have since been scrapped.

Ash die back tree felling caused much controversy (Picture courtesy of Sally Blake)

With consent from Natural England, a licence from the Forestry Commission was granted to fell all ash trees in a 20 hectare area. In the event, 7 hectares were felled.

For the following season, in a change of policy and in line with Tree Council guidance, it was decided to maintain a ‘watching brief’ to assess the need for the future felling of ash trees.

Since the decision earlier this year to close the sawmill, Surrey County Council is planning a consultation next month on the future use of the site and on the future of the estate as a whole.

Kestrel image courtesy of Jenny Desoutter

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