Residents have voiced concerns about hedge fires at Pan Meadows in Newport.

Barratt Homes has confirmed the removal of trees at Pan Meadows but have been in consultation with the local authority:

“Barratt Homes takes its commitment to the environment and wildlife extremely seriously and we can confirm that all works to remove trees were completed by the end of March following a full ecological review and under licence. “Before removal, the trees were checked daily to ensure there was no danger to wildlife. “Burning began on March 29 and has continued following consultation with the fire service. On the advice of the Isle of Wight Council’s environmental health office we have stopped open burning to remove the impact of smoke.”

Some residents expressed their concerns about the burning yesterday (Tuesday), insisting that it is interfering with the surrounding wildlife. Hampshire Constabulary has issued a statement saying:

“We were called at 09:42am … [on] Tuesday, April 5 by a resident in Newport who had concerns about controlled burning on the Pan Estates site (sic). “Initial enquiries will be conducted by a specialist wildlife crime officer to establish if an investigation is required or whether any offences have been committed”.

Helen Butler from the Isle of Wight Red Squirrel Trust is quite concerned as she believes the hedgerows should not be touched:

“I think there are squirrel nests in the trees there. I believe  the hedgerows shouldn’t be touched after March, 31, due to nesting creatures.”

A spokesperson from the Isle of Wight Council said they were aware of the issue and would be investigating the matter in more detail. However the local authority confirmed that there was no connection to any works in relation to the proposed new superstore in the area.