Buckshaw's 'Fairy Woods' is spared destruction after families force RMG into u-turn
The 'fairy woods' in Buckshaw had been threatened with destruction by the management company responsible for the residential development.
Since lockdown began, families seeking a brief escape from the ongoing pandemic have created their own little bit of magic in Buckshaw's ancient woodlands.
The woods have fuelled the imagination of children who have hand painted miniature 'doorways' and placed them at the foot of the centuries-old trees.
To the delight of children in Buckshaw, the woods have become home to a fairy wonderland.
A handmade timber sign with the words "Welcome to the fairy woods" greets children at the entrance to the woodland trail.
The colourful grove of fairy homes has become a favourite of families taking their daily exercise in the woods around Buckshaw. But the magical little kingdom had been threatened with destruction by Residential Management Group (RMG) who oversee the housing development.
This week, households were shocked when they were told that the decorations and wooden ornamental houses would have to be removed as they were deemed 'inappropriate" for the woodland.
RMG said the children's colouful creations were "littering the woodland" and could harm the ancient trees.
A spokesman for RMG said: "We must politely request that the signs and any other items which have been screwed or attached to the trees are removed as a matter of urgency.
"Although we know these are difficult times, the area selected is not really appropriate as the woodland itself is deemed as "Ancient".
"In addition to the signs, we have noted an increase in decorations and wooden ornamental houses spread along the pathway.
"I am sorry to say this is not appropriate for the woodland area of the village."
The company warned families that if the fairy homes were not removed by Sunday (April 26), it would remove the children's handiwork itself.
But the company faced a backlash from parents who were outraged by the company's 'heavy-handed' approach.
"That's ridiculous!," said one Buckshaw mum.
"Surely if they're left at the base of the tree that's OK?
"I've loved taking my kids through the woods, I thought it was a lovely idea."
Another resident added: "Very disappointing! They are a lovely addition to the woods and are bringing happiness to lots of children.
"Shame on them for doing this."
The backlash has forced RMG into a u-turn just 24 hours later, with the company agreeing to allow the fairy houses to continue to grace the woodland.
But it said this would only be on a temporary basis until lockdown is lifted. Once lockdown is over, the 'fairies' will once again face eviction from their woodland homes.
In its latest communication to Buckshaw residents, the company said: "Thank you for all of those who have contacted us over the announcement made yesterday, it is clear to see that residents have come together over this and in doing so have made an impact.
"The contact we have had on this matter has been of differing views, some of this has been receptive to the cause and others which had thought the communication had been untimely and rude tone.
"This had certainly not been the intention.
"RMG do understand and sympathies that whilst on lock down, it is extremely difficult for families, particularly those with small children to remain active and we do not want to deter this.
"The village has shown great commitment in coming together and we wish to continue to build upon this.
"This being said though, items being screwed in to the ancient woodland is not acceptable.
"These trees are protected by the council and therefore before RMG (on behalf of the development) can undertake works on these trees we must get council approval.
"The fixing of such items to these trees does run the risk of damage to them, and does leave the development susceptible to enforcement from the council due to the fixings.
"Such areas as this woodland are protected for a reason, and for many are a large part of moving here and we want to ensure these areas are retained and nurtured.
"Due to the protection of the trees, we cannot permit items to be fixed too the trees under any circumstances.
"However there is no problem with the houses being placed on the floor, leaning against the woodland.
"We would like to request though that once lock down restrictions have been lifted, that the items are removed."