Land at the eastern end of the Tesco car park was cleared of a tent encampment at the beginning of February. There have been some suggestions that this was somehow related to the former East Reading Mass Rapid Transport project.
In fact the request to clear the land came from Thames Valley Police and the Council's Anti Social Behaviour team as the area had been occupied by four tents for several months and posed a significant public health and safety risk (sharps/needles) and a lot of detritus had been left behind when the site was abandoned.
The site has been inspected by the Council's Tree Officer and it is expected that the coppiced ash trees will form new shoots this growing season. No further on-going work is either in process or planned for the site.
The site was cleared by tractor and bucket as it was unsafe to do so by hand. On arrival it was evident that the tent dwellers had been cutting back trees for fire wood and several tree limbs were trimmed to tidy them up and provide access for clearance. Several self-seeded, multi stemmed ash trees were found to have been coppiced by the tent dwellers (again presumably for fire wood) and the cuts made by the tent dwellers were again tidied up by Council staff.
No trees have been felled (by the tent dwellers or Council staff) but several self-seeded, multi stemmed Ash trees have been coppiced as a result of the initial vandalism and tidying works.