The owners of a proposed new eco-wellness woodland resort near Yarmouth have acted swiftly to quell fears they were cutting back trees and affecting wildlife at Lee Copse.
The development, if given the go-ahead, will be named The Woodlands Resort and is the project of Alan Short and Simon Hirst, who run Island joinery company Acorn Interiors, and Tanya Lippuner from TML Creative, an interior architecture and design company.
Concerned neighbours contacted the IW Observer after seeing trees being cut down at the copse over the weekend. However, Mr Short and the IW Council confirmed they had been given permission to thin down some of the non-native trees and replant native trees.
Mr Short said: “This is part of an ongoing two-year plan involving an ecology team, the Forestry Commission and Woodland Management.
“We are thinning out the copse because there is a lot of Ash Dieback there and we are looking ahead 10 years to replant the whole woodland with more than 2,000 trees on the site. Three-quarters of the woodland is plantation.”
An Isle of Wight Council spokesman said: “The woodland forms a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation and is also covered by a Woodland Tree Protection Order, being designated as Ancient Woodland.
“Officers have met with the owners recently and are aware that the woodland is being managed in consultation with the Forestry Commission, with some of the non-native trees being carefully thinned to allow native trees to be re-planted.
“We do not have any current applications for the site. We will contact the site owners to check the works undertaken remain those approved by the commission.”
If the development is given the go-ahead, it will centre on sustainable living, nature and wellness with plans for tree houses, tiny houses and high-end safari tents. The resort will also feature landscaping and a well-being area, including a spa and saunas.
It is planned to be as eco-conscious as possible and will offer a restaurant with its own micro-brewery, coffee shop and farm shop. There will be wellness classes, play areas for children, nature and wildlife talks, spa, sauna and treatments, and swimming available in the natural bio-pool.
Mr Short added: “We are keen to include local education as this is a fantastic location for forest schools as well as adult classes such as woodworking, yoga classes, willow weaving and literary groups.
“The Woodlands has such a calming atmosphere, and it will be a great inspiration for creative minds and those wishing to connect to nature as a retreat.”
The project will soon be submitted to planning, for more information visit thewoodlandsresort.co.uk.