HC Deb 02 June 1896 vol 41 cc303-4
SIR GEORGE RUSSELL (Berks, Wokingham)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, whether the attention of the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Woods and Forests has been called to the recent serious disfigurement of Swinley Woods in Windsor Forest, owing to the destruction of timber which is taking place in consequence of the fumes arising from the kilns of a local brickmaker; whether these kilns have been erected, and added to from time to time, under the sanction of the Department; whether the conversion of a large portion of this ancient Royal demesne to commercial uses is in accordance with the terms of the Act for the inclosure of Windsor Forest; whether he is aware that the destruction of the subsoil in the process of digging clay involves an interference with one of the principal roads in the district, namely, the highway leading from Ascot Heath to Bagshot Park; and whether the Commissioners propose to take any action in the matter?


The Commissioner of Woods, from a recent personal inspection, is satisfied that no material injury is being caused to the Crown woods at Swinley by the brick works, which are in other ways beneficial to the land revenues. They were established on Crown land, let for the purpose about 35 years ago. Further land has since been let, the last increase in area being made in 1880; but about 18 months ago the area let was varied by the surrender of part not suitable for brick-making purposes and the letting of other land of equal area instead. The land now let for brickmaking was not acquired by the Crown under the Windsor Forest Enclosure Act (which, however, does not prevent lands enclosed thereunder being used for commercial purposes), but was purchased by the Commissioners of Woods. The interference with the highway consists of its being used by carts, barrows, etc., conveying clay to the works. The highway is not under the charge of the Commissioner of Woods, who considers further action on his part to be unnecessary.