Robert Arden (no login) Posted Dec 18, 2010 2:00 PM
Auster Woods is FC. I believe Pillar Wood belongs to Grimsthorpe not the FC. It isn't part of Bourne wood but is part of what I've always known as Bourne woods.
Current plans are to sell off around 50% of FC owned woodland. The ones you mention could well form some of that 50%.
How any new owners would stop public access I don't know. The woods have lengthy boundaries so the cost of fencing them with people proof fence would be immmense and it would be expensive to employ people to patrol them. Also there has been public access to the ridings for so long it would be possible to have them incorporated as rights of way.
There would be strong pressure against wholesale tree clearance and in any case planning permission is needed as well as the FC having a veto on woodland clearance regardless of ownership. The land they cover is of dubious value for agriculture so it's unlikely to be cleared for farming. There are big patches of glacial deposits, various clays, sands and the like , around here. Most of it is ill draining and not very fertile. That's why there is such a big chunk of almost continuous woodland - Bourne Woods, Gunborough wood, Spring Wood, Callans Lane woods and Temple Wood.
The biggest threat would be leisure and any councillor suggesting a leisure park is playing a dangerous game.
Temple wood might be ideal for a center park type development - they could put the big buildings on the airfield and have the accomodation and activities scattered through the woodland. That would pay for a large fence and security guards to keep the rest of us out. Might be good for local employment though and I believe they give everyone living within a few miles a free pass to use the facilities.