FARMER John Price will face no further action from the Forestry Commission for felling trees as part of his work on the river Lugg.

Btu the farmer is still under investigation by Natural England and the Environment Agency into the work he had completed on the riverbank of the river Lugg.

A Forestry Commission spokesperson said permission was granted only for the felling of trees.

“Following an investigation we can confirm that the felling operations were undertaken with the authority of an approved conditional felling licence and no further action is to be taken in respect of the felling at this time," the commission said.

"The licence did not authorise any works beyond the felling of the trees.

"The conditions of the licence do, however, require re-stocking of the felled area no later than June 30, 2026.

“Failure to comply with these conditions may result in the Forestry Commission taking enforcement action in the future.”


The Environment Agency launched an investigation into the work at the river Lugg on December 4.

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust said it hoped for a prosecution over the “bulldozing” of a mile-long (1.5km) stretch of the protected river, and described the damage caused as a “crime against the environment”, saying it has had “huge repercussions for wildlife downstream”.

The trust said all bankside and riverside habitats had been “completely obliterated” after the "enchanting" reach of the river and its banks were “bulldozed, straightened and reprofiled into a sterile canal”.

The Environment Agency said it had held talks with Kingsland Parish Council and local landowners about flooding and pollution and had offered advice and guidance.

But the work undertaken would require a permit under the Environmental Permitting Regulations and no such permit had been issued.

In an updated statement, Emma Johnson of Natural England said: “Natural England and the Environment Agency are currently investigating the full circumstances of this significant incident on the river Lugg.

"This is a live investigation, which may lead to legal action and as such further details cannot be shared at this time."

Mr Price, who is 66, says he has looked after the river all his life and was only doing a job he was told to do.

He claims the work he has done on the riverbanks is legal and it is meant to save local homes from flooding, and he has the backing of local councillors.