More than 2,000 trees have been cut down on an eight-hectare area at Fairwood on the Gower peninsula in Swansea, according to Natural Resources Wales (NRW). One forestry expert said in court that the damage done to the destroyed woodland was “the most significant” he had ever seen. The conviction of 72-year-old landowner Jeff Lane for illegally cutting down protected trees from a woodland is being appealed. Andrew Wright of NRW reported to the court that he visited the site and found “blatant” and “shocking” damage. Damian Ward of Natural Resources Wales (NRW) said that it was evident that Mr. Lane had gone beyond the original license. He added that woodland officers found parts that had been removed from trees and areas with stumps upon inspection of the property in June 2019. The next year, Mr. Ward noted that several had sustained damage that hindered their restoration.

In order to enhance the area, Mr. Lane of Old Forge, Fairwood, claimed he “cut down rotten and decayed trees.” The majority of the trees were, according to Mr. Lane, completely waterlogged and decaying when he purchased the property in 2017. Furthermore, he said that nothing would grow there; therefore, he had planned to drain the area. Mr. David Leathley, a defense attorney, argued Mr. Lane had been provided false information. He alluded to NRW’s claim that when they visited the site, they told him he was doing an excellent job. Additionally, arboricultural advisor Mark Chester questioned the number of trees cut down, stating that he believes it was only 362, and that he had not seen any proof that it had been as high as 2,000.