Springwoods, Widcombe Hill, Widcombe, Bath
The proposed location of tree works is the setting of Springwoods, a late 20th century unlisted detached dwelling situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The site is additionally washed over by the Green Belt and Cotswolds AONB. The proposed location of this group of trees is just outside of the boundary of the Site of Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI), but arguably forms part of the SNCI’s green setting and part of the natural buffer against adjacent residential development to the east, as well as the wider Ecological Network. The majority of the site is covered by a Tree Protection Order, but this small cluster of trees is excluded. The site is of particular public and social interest as part of the Bath Skyline walk that runs to the south, as well as a restricted byway that allows pedestrian and cyclist access to Widcombe Hill to the north. The densely treed woodland character of this area is consequently of significant public enjoyment and positively contributes to the experience of Bath’s landscape setting and the special qualities of the Green Belt, AONB, and landscape setting of the World Heritage Site and should be sustained and protected.
We note associated application 22/00092/TPO proposes the felling of 7 ash trees with dieback and appropriate replanting, also on the same site.
There appears to be some uncertainty as to why the selected ash trees are proposed for felling, and we therefore suggest that the reasons for felling, such as the trees’ condition, are included as part of this application. We encourage replanting in an appropriate species where possible.
We continue to emphasise the distinctive landscape character and significance of this site as part of a wider, densely wooded area, including the National Trust owned Smallcombe Wood to the north which is Bath’s only surviving example of ancient woodland. Despite the boundary created by the Tree Protection Order, we maintain the significance of a unified approach to the site with a coordinated management plan for future tree works and possible felling/replanting cycles to sustain the wooded character and green canopy within this landscape and as part of a popular walking route around Bath.