Cornish hotel hosting G7 summit criticised for cutting down "ancient" trees by local campaigners

10-03-21- Work being done to remove trees on Cornish coast- Cornwall Live
Campaigners say they are "horrified" that the trees are being chopped down. Credit: Cornwall Live

Campaigners have expressed their anger after a number of "ancient trees" were chopped down by the Carbis Bay Hotel.

It comes ahead of the G7 Summit, with world leaders set to descend on the seaside resort in June this year. 

Campaigners say they are "horrified" that the trees are being chopped down. However, the hotel said there had been a “misunderstanding on social media”, before explaining that the area in question is not ancient woodland and that there are no badger sets on the piece of land in question.

Cornwall Council has said that the complaints were being investigated and a planning application for the work has now been received.

Green Party campaigner Lisa Arthur called on the hotel to provide answers on why the work is going ahead. Credit: ITV News

Lisa Arthur, a Green Party campaigner from St Ives, called the area of development a "historic woodland", which the hotel has denied, and said its location next to the sea makes it particularly unique.

She said: "You don't get ecosystems like this, habitats which are mature trees next to the sea and once these trees have gone you can't replace them with young saplings, old mature trees like this sink so much more carbon.

"You can't replace a tree that's a few hundred years old with a sapling because it just doesn't have the same effect.

"We really want answers on this development, I would like the owners of the hotel to let us know what's going on."

Environmental campaigner Elise Langley said: "I think it's hypocritical to put on your website that you're an eco-friendly hotel and you care about the environment and act completely differently to that.

"The trees are part of an ancient woodland and are a rare commodity along the coastline and should be protected."

Cllr Luke Rogers wrote: "I spoke to the chairs of the council's environment and planning committees and there is very little that can be done to stop Carbis Bay Hotel from destroying the landscape down there as it's on their own land."

The hotel has said they are working closely with a local landscaping team to increase planting in the area. Credit: Cornwall Live

Explaining why the trees were chopped down, Carbis Bay Hotel said in a statement: "The investments in the estate over recent years, including our on-site Energy Centre, have cemented Carbis Bay’s position as one of the UK’s best and greenest destinations, in one of the most beautiful bays in the country.

"We appreciate that our passion and commitment to the environment are shared by many, and would like to address the misunderstanding on social media, and reassure our guests and neighbours about the area that we are working on at the moment.

“Part of our long-standing plans for the estate included clearing a small self-seeded scrubland area to the side of the hotel, and work on this area started several years ago. We can confirm this was not ancient woodland and there are no badger sets on this piece of land.

“We are working closely with a local landscaping team to increase planting in this area replacing the scrubland with a plethora of trees and plants more suited to the coastal environment.

“Carbis Bay Estate is committed to sustainability, and dedicated to protecting the environment now, and for generations to come.”

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