North County Leader

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Fury Over Alleged ‘Illegal’ Felling Of Trees In Malahide

The wooded area at Abington, MalahideThe wooded area at Abington, Malahide

The decision by the management company of a Malahide estate to remove a boundary woods, has caused anger within the community.
Abington, one of the most exclusive estates in the North County, is a private estate with very expensive homes and a boundary woods all around the perimeter. This has facilitated wildlife, in the form of red squirrels, buzzards, kestrels to exist here, but now this wildlife haven is being threatened.

Furious Abington resident Dr Ahmed Salman spoke to the County Leader about the effect this, as he claims, ‘illegal’ felling of trees will have on the area.

He said: Abington management decided to remove a boundary woods and fell trees, without a felling licence and have destroyed a natural habitat, despite objections from me, a wild life conservationist, who wanted to protect the few Irish red squirrel living in it with other wild birds like kestrel.

“The current management decided to remove a lot of the trees for no apparent reason. The upshot of this is that the boundaries have now exposed the neighbourhood.” However he expressed concern that the company may not have a tree felling licence to do so, which is required by law.

“The real concern is the damaged being done to wildlife. It is a haven for wildlife in the form of red squirrels, buzzards, kestrels, and just because some greedy person decided to destroy it all and plant grass there – it makes no sense.”
“The reality is that this action shows total disregard for wildlife and just because you’re rich, it doesn’t give you the right to do that.”

“The red squirrel are an endangered and threatened Irish native species and a lot is being done to protect them and encourage their habitat.”

Abington is comprised of 50 sites, the vast majority of which are occupied.

Dr Salman continued: “The issue of tree felling was brought up at a management meeting last year and it was voted down. There was a lot of communication about it with the management company, who were well aware of our concerns about the effect this would have on wildlife.

“An AGM took place on 8th December last, emphasising our objections to the tree felling, and just two days later, the bulldozers arrived to chop down the trees. I don’t think it’s legal to destroy wildlife habitats, and there was a case in Donegal recently, where Coillte were stopped from cutting forests.”

“Three days after they started felling the trees, I found a dead red squirrel. This was very regrettable, as I feel they will be driven away for good. Residents are positive that there was no reason to cut these trees, as they were boundary trees. The
affected area runs to about an acre, with lots of trees now gone. Residents of Abington can now see right into Castleheath estate and beyond, without the boundary woods.”

The County Leader contacted the management company in search of an explanation for the decision to remove the boundary woods, but no comment was forthcoming by the time we went to press.