§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consultations the Crown Estate undertook before felling began last week of the 17th century avenue of trees in Windsor great park.
§ Mr. Lamont
I understand that the Crown Estate Commissioners decided earlier in the year, after consultations with English Nature, to proceed with the clear-felling and removal of the avenue of mainly old and decaying lime trees bordering Queen Anne's Ride and their replacement by 1,000 oak saplings over the next four years. Work on the south end of the avenue has started and it will be replanted during the winter months. The commissioners and English Nature are fully aware of the importance of the great park as a habitat for many rare and endangered species of beetles and fungi, mainly associated with old oak trees. Only a few oak trees will be felled in the restoration of the avenue and more that 6,000 old oak trees will remain in the park as a home for invertebrates. Agreement was therefore reached to proceed with the restoration of Queen Anne's Ride as an historic and visually valuable landscape feature for the benefit of future generations to come.