Tree pledge for summer

TREE felling in Rendlesham Forest will not stop open-air plays being performed - and will enable them to be seen by twice as many people.Over the past few months the Forestry Commission has been felling trees around the clearing used each year by Ipswich-based Red Rose Chain Theatre Company.

TREE felling in Rendlesham Forest will not stop open-air plays being performed - and will enable them to be seen by twice as many people.

Over the past few months the Forestry Commission has been felling trees around the clearing used each year by Ipswich-based Red Rose Chain Theatre Company.

Fans of the group who have seen the wood harvesting work taking place have voiced their concern on the effect on future shows.

But Red Rose Chain's director of production, David Newborn said: “We have been working closely with the Forestry Commission and are really happy with the way the site has been developed.


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“In the past we were only able to accommodate two banks of staged seating. But now the space has been expanded we can offer twice as many seats as before.”

He wanted to assure people that this year's performance will take place.

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“Thanks to the sympathetic approach of the Forestry Commission, the clearing will still retain the cosy, intimate woodland atmosphere that our audiences love,” he said.

“I am happy to say that Red Rose Chain will definitely be presenting a 2007 theatre-in-the-forest production of Hamlet - the only difference is, this summer it will be bigger and better than ever.”

Nigel Turner, the Forestry Commission's recreation manager, said: “Rendlesham Forest is very much a working forest that also provides access for recreation, wildlife and a unique landscape. Since 1920 the Forestry Commission has been managing the forest on behalf of the nation to provide a sustainable source of timber.

“At present 15,000 tonnes of timber is being felled and the work should be completed by the end of summer 2007. It is the first major harvest since the great storm of 1987 when over a million trees, two-thirds of the forest, were blown down.

“This work has understandably affected some of our recreation activities including cycling trails, walks and car parking areas but it will allow us to enhance the theatre area used by Red Rose Chain.

“The Forestry Commission hope that the changes made to the site will improve the experience for the many people that regularly attend the exciting performances held at the site”.

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