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Trees Damaged in Hopeward Wood: Appeal for information

In the past few days, someone has been cutting down trees in Hopeward Wood without agreement of the Community Council or Dalgety Bay Community Woodlands Group. Hopeward Wood is one of the ancient woodland areas in Dalgety Bay that date back at least to the late 1700s and, for this woodland, probably to a very much earlier date. It is protected by a Fife Council Tree Preservation Order against this kind of activity. The damage is in the area below the Fife Coastal Path where it enters Hopeward Wood from the west. The locations of the damaged trees are shown on the map and information on the trees themselves is given below. We urgently need to get useable evidence of the person(s) responsible in order to report the matter to the Council and the Police. Only if the culprits can be identified and action taken can more trees be saved from this kind of wanton destruction.

If anyone is seen doing this kind of work please get in touch with DBCWG by leaving a message on our Facebook site and emailing to If possible try and get a photograph of any work while it is being done.

It is ironic that as this destruction is taking place, elsewhere in our woodlands work is underway to enable Donibristle Primary School P7 classes to plant a good number of additional young oak trees grown from acorns collected elsewhere in Scotland and generously donated by one of our supporters. It is clear that youngsters and their teachers are once more showing that they can provide a good example to us all in caring for the environment.

With the recently upgraded Coastal Path going through it, this woodland is an important part of a walking route that all the people of Dalgety Bay, as well as visitors from other parts of the world, can enjoy. There is much evidence that walking through natural wooded areas can significantly improve health and wellbeing. All in the community who enjoy this woodland must try to prevent this kind of destruction continuing otherwise we will see a further loss of areas of natural beauty with such much needed benefits for people and wildlife.

Trees Damaged

Tree 1 was a small Sycamore and it’s branches have been strewn below in one of the areas where there is a springtime carpet of Native Bluebells.

Tree 2 was an Ash that, as can be seen from the tree guard, must have been planted as part of a woodland diversity improvement programme several years ago. Ash is a native tree with biodiversity value in a mixed woodland.

Trees 3 to 5 were moderate sized Sycamores and one of the cut trunks was still weakly attached to the stump making it dangerous for any children who might be tempted to play around that area. It has now been made safe by one of our volunteers.

Trees 2 to 5 are all in a rough line from a Holly shown below that was also damaged along with some other small trees, but earlier, in 2018.

There has been some regrowth of this Holly, though it is still much smaller than it would have been. Its location gives a guide to the position of the other damaged trees. [On further inspection of the area near this Holly it was seen that another Holly had also been recently cut down.] Holly too is an important tree for woodland wildlife.

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