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Seventh TreeDear Suzannah,  Clerk to the Haccombe with Combe  Parish Council

First - no response to two e-mails of 30-10-22 - docx. attached. Account for £180 rendered 2 years ago - for repair of small part of criminal damage to the ancient hedge bank. I have recently met with Jonathan Rowlands, the PRWO, and my new and conscientious neighbour Mr Paul Mair. The PRWO has arranged for DCC to deal with this small account - very kindly.

Second - I noticed last Saturday that another tree - I think the seventh, had fallen across my hedge bank.  Paul Mair sends a photo as seen from the drove track.  Attached.

I see there are at least 5 stems. I note that the roots are dead. I have no doubt that the trampling caused by the 4WDs + the use of a tracked mini-digger by the current deputy PC chairman, has caused root disease in the many fine wild cherries, and that has spread to other species. The crown of the newly fallen tree looks like a field maple. I am not a mycologist but I suspect that honey/bootlace fungus is involved, and a mix of other plant pathogenic fungi. The arson of the Ford Focus in June 2020 was a material culmination of the constant criminal damage to this ancient drove track.  The trees that have been made sick in their roots are the culmination in our natural world of the long continued criminal damage. That a parish council has actively sanctioned this is extraordinary and outrageous.

Third.  All costs that I will bear in dealing with this destruction will be passed directly to the PC, and I ask for prompt payment.  I attach an invoice for the 4 hours I spent with a skilled tree surgeon dismantling the cherry and hazel in drenching rain in November. - £60. £15 per hour - labour and power tools.

Fourth.  The stumps - root plates and bole might possibly be removed using an agricultural handler, just as the Ford Focus wreck was removed from the 9ft deep part of the track.  But this will depend on the owner.  The stumps will be put on my wood pasture for the time being. When the ground is firm the PC will have to arrange for heavy plant to remove them. To where will be up to the PC.

Fifth.  I wish for a definite answer to this question. I am well aware that I have written often and at length re the drove track. I ask whether the then chairman, Mr Tim Boarer, withdrew from each meeting when there was discussion and conclusion regarding this ancient drove track? It is widely known that he drove his Suzuki Jimny up and down the track. I add - I presume that those members of the PC, and TDC members, who assented with the criminal damage will not be standing in the May election.  

Sixth.  Our daughter has advancing colon cancer in spite of chemotherapy. My communication with yourself, and thus to the PC will be minimal - accounts only.

David Halpin FRCS