An East Cowes man has described the moment he stood in front of a bulldozer to prevent it destroying ancient woodland on the Hawthorn Meadows Estate, near Whippingham.

kingston copse east cowes Barratt Homes, which owns the land, says it regrets what happened on Friday. A Facebook group has sprung up in response to the clearing of a large swathe of Kingston Copse. The work was stopped when local resident Phil Washington challenged the driver of a bulldozer and refused to move until the work was inspected by a site manager. Phil says he can not believe what has happened:  

“Kingston Copse is a natural bluebell wood with all sorts of diverse wildlife, including badgers, foxes, bats, two species of woodpecker. It would be such a shame for them to loose their habitat.”
kingston copse east cowesThe original plans for the site had included a woodland path through the copse, but it is the interpretation of that is proving to be a challenge.
Mr Washington says the plan needs to be reconsidered:
“It’s a shame they’ve decided to carry out any works here at all, let alone at this time of year.
“A woodland path doesn’t need to be three metres wide, it doesn’t need to be fenced off and it doesn’t need to be surfaced.  With no trees left, there’s no woodland walk anyway.”
kingston copse east cowesIn a statement, managing director of Barratt Homes, Tim Hill said:
“We deeply regret what has happened.”
kingston copse east cowesThe firm, which is developing land adjacent to the copse, has pledged to try to restore the area.