NATURAL England, the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission have joined forces to investigate the destruction of the riverbank along the Lugg at Kingsland.

The area has Site of Special Scientific Interest status due to its environmental importance.

And earlier this week, the authorities  served a legal notice to stop the unconsented works.

Today, with the support of West Mercia police, officers from Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission came together on scene with officers from Herefordshire Council, to investigate and seek formal evidence for the alleged offences.

Natural England served the notice requiring the works to stop immediately on the landowner earlier this week, while the Forestry Commission issued a stop letter requiring an end to any further felling work.


The Environment Agency requested no further works to be carried out on the river last week.

Emma Johnson, Natural England area manager, said: “I’m shocked by the destruction I’ve seen to this very special river.

“Sites of Special Scientific Interest represent our finest places for wildlife and geology and Natural England is responsible for ensuring their protection, working with landowners and managers to achieve this. We have regulatory powers to prevent damage taking place to SSSIs but where this does occur we can take appropriate enforcement action, including prosecuting offenders.


“The river Lugg is a very special place due to the ecology of the river and surrounding area. Natural England and our partners are working together to take strong action to ensure a wide-ranging and thorough investigation is carried out.”

The three agencies came together to jointly investigate this week following reports of activities including dredging, illegal felling of trees and profiling of the river banks. The works have the potential to cause significant, long term ecological harm to nearly 1.5km of the river.

Keith Jones, area director for the Forestry Commission said: “I’m appalled at what has happened. Trees are a precious natural resource, which is why anyone wishing to fell them must ensure they comply with the Forestry Commission’s felling licence requirements.”

Dave Throup, area environment manager for the Environment Agency, added: “This is a beautiful part of the world. To see the changes from last week to this is terrible. We’re working closely with our partners to ensure this is thoroughly investigated.”