Dittisham Parish Council regrets to report that a large area of woodland within Capton Wood was totally cleared in April. This incident is being handled by the appropriate Authorities.

You may be able to assist. South Hams District Council, the Police, and the Forestry Commission are all involved. They each have different remits and legislative powers, and slightly different information is needed for their work.

1. South Hams District Council has served a Tree Preservation Order (TPO 1014) on the whole woodland. This order is currently provisional.
Until 26 May, SHDC Officers welcome comments of support or objection to the TPO: please email TPO@swdevon.gov.uk

Comments about the Wood’s value to the community, landscape, habitat, and your personal histories are all of relevance in SHDC Officers’ assessment of the value of Capton Wood and whether to confirm the TPO and make it permanent.

The Parish Council has commented supporting confirmation of the TPO as served

2. If you notice any tree works or actions within the woodland from the 29th of April onwards, then they should be reported to SHDC as soon as possible via this link: https://www.southhams.gov.uk/article/3088/Planning-Breach

3. The Forestry Commission will be looking for evidence of the trees which were on the site to support their investigation. If you have any, please email: southwest.fce@forestrycommission.gov.uk

4. And lastly photographic evidence of the species which were present on the cleared site, ideally digital and taken within the last 18-24 months, would be of particular assistance to the Police in their enquiries. You can email: WildlifeCrime@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk or use the online 101 reporting form LINK.

Social Media
DPC would like to discourage people naming individuals in relation to this incident (either commending or criticising). We would not want to jeopardise any investigation, and secondly do not want to encourage a witch hunt of an individual.

There is more information about wildlife crime at www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/advice/your-community/animals/wildlife/#reportIt.