For Sale: Historic 29-acre Trentham woodland
AN ANCIENT 29-acre wood has been put on the market for £125,000.
Hargreaves Wood, near Trentham Park Golf Club, is now up for sale.
But communities fear the move could threaten a popular and picturesque spot which is well-used by dog owners, walkers and joggers.
The woodland originally formed part of the Trentham Park Estate, the former seat of the Dukes and Earls of Sutherland.
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The track through the trees was once one of the carriage roads leading to the main house in the estate's heyday.
The wood is still part of Trentham Park as it now forms the edge of Trentham Park Golf Club.
The site is listed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
It is classified as an ancient and semi-natural woodland due to the fact is has had native broadleaves species of tree and plants growing in it for more than 400 years.
Mike Tustin, of John Clegg & Co Chartered Surveyors, who are managing the sale for sellers who have not made themselves public, said: "The woodland market for amenity and conservation woods in England or larger commercial plantations throughout the UK has strengthened considerably in the past two years in strong contrast to other sectors of the property market.
"Hargreaves Wood offers a good opportunity to acquire a woodland, whether for amenity, conservation, wildlife interest, timber interest or other reasons."
However, fears over its future were raised by Stoke-on-Trent former Lord Mayor Terry Follows, pictured below.
The councillor for Trentham and Hanford said: "Something like this is bound to raise suspicions among a good many people about what is behind it and what will happen to this lovely spot.
"So I would forecast there will be some objection.
"A lot of people like to go walking there and also take their dogs, jog or cycle in such a peaceful place. I can't understand why it is being sold."
The sale brochure says besides purchasers owning a wide variety of the broadleaved species, they would also have the chance to grow and harvest good quantities of biomass for use as firewood.
It adds: "Overall Hargreaves Wood offers a compelling package for buyers interested in purchasing a small but well-stocked classic English woodland."
The brochure says its protected status means it can attract bigger grants from the Forestry Commission.
The Countess of Sutherland and her successors have retained the right to use its carriage drive to enter their estate but the condition has little meaning as family no longer has an interest in Trentham Park.
The wood contains a wide range of native species including holly and birch. A few examples of non-native trees such as beech and sycamore could be removed as firewood with agreement between Natural England and the woodland owner.
The wood is in an area controlled by Stafford Borough Council and in the past 23 trees were felled as their roots were burrowing under a wall beside Whitmore Road, Trentham, causing it to gradually collapse.
Prospective purchasers should contact John Clegg & Co's Haddenham office on 01844 291 384.