3 Mar 2014

Farmer levels protected wood, faces jail

1:40 pm on 3 March 2014

The Queen Elizabeth II National Trust says a Canterbury farmer who has levelled a woodland area under its protection could end up in prison for thumbing his nose at authorities.

The Trust got a High Court injunction in December to stop the farmer, Roelof Wobben from further damaging what it says is one of the last remaining pockets of undisturbed kanuka woodlands on the Canterbury Plains and which had been placed under covenant.

Last week the court ruled Mr Wobben had repeatedly and deliberately breached that order.

The QEII Trust's case seeking complete restoration of the site will be heard later this year by the court.

Chair of the Trust James Guild says the High Court made it clear Mr Wobben could go to prison but added there's now very little of the woodland left.

Mr Guild says farmers established the covenant system and it's vital it's respected.

Mr Wobben couldn't be reached for comment.