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A farmer who chopped down a native woodland on his land faces a bill for more than £8,000 after being found guilty of illegal felling and refusing to replant more trees.
David Terence Jones of Pen yr Heol Las Farm was convicted of failing to comply with an enforcement notice issued by Forestry Commission Wales to replant nearly 1.5 hectares of woodland on his land at Coed y Brain, Llanbradach, Caerphilly.
Abertilley magistrates fined Mr Jones after he re-seeded the area with grass after cutting down the trees, despite an offer of grant aid from Forestry Commission Wales.
Mr Jones was originally convicted of felling the area without a licence at Blackwood Magistrates Court in 2006.
FC Wales then issued a restocking notice on the land and a subsequent appeal by Mr Jones was dismissed at Cardiff Crown Court.
However, Mr Jones failed to replant the cleared woodland with trees and the farmer was convicted of failing to comply with an enforcement notice at Abertillery Magistrates Court in December 2009.
As a result of both convictions, Mr Jones was fined and substantial prosecution costs were awarded against him.
Alan Hubbuck, Forestry Commission Wales Woodland Officer, said, "This case clearly demonstrates the consequences of illegal felling.
"The outcome should serve as a warning to others that Forestry Commission Wales is determined to protect our valuable native woodlands from destruction.
"If you are unsure as to whether you require a licence, contact your nearest Forestry Commission Wales office for guidance before you start any tree felling."
Mr Jones was fined £525 for felling the trees and ordered to pay £7800 in costs.
Notes to Editors
Forestry Commission Wales is the government department responsible for forestry policy and looks after the 126,000 hectares (311,000 acres) of public forests owned by the Welsh Assembly Government. It encourages good forestry practice by setting standards, giving advice, providing information and by offering grants for expanding, regenerating and managing forests and woodlands. It also controls the felling of trees and issues felling licences.
More information on the woodlands of Wales and how to contact your local office is available on www.forestry.gov.uk/wales.
Press office contact: Mary Galliers, Information Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org