VILLAGERS have criticised an environmental charity for allowing a noisy wedding reception to be held in community woodland.
Residents in Lawshall say the evening event at Golden Wood featuring a large 20-minute firework display disturbed the local neighbourhood as well as horses and livestock.
They have hit out at the Green Light Trust for authorising Saturday’s reception for the wedding of its chairman Tom Stebbing, which also included a tepee, toilet block and generator for refrigerated food and drink, and failing to inform residents.
John Payne, a member of the Forest For Our Children steering group which takes care of the management of Golden Wood on the trust’s behalf, said: “I’m disgusted at the absolute disregard shown towards people in the village particularly the elderly.
“A number of OAPs were in bed at the time. Nobody knew this was going to happen. It was like Armaggedon let loose.”
In a letter to the charity’s bosses, Bryan Adams, a director at Moat Farm Riding Centre, in Golden Lane, said: “We were not able to take any action to protect our livestock from the sight and sounds of the event and as a result we had terrified horses galloping around our fields in blind panic and were very lucky not to suffer a fatality.”
Speaking to the Bury Free Press, he added that the charity does ‘ a lot of good work’ through its educational programme.
Mark Jay, a volunteer at the woodland, said: “I was walking my dog the next day and it was like the aftermath of a rave. There were beer bottles in the grass, spent fireworks and half eaten plates of food. This was not what the community woodland was about.”
Nigel Hughes, chief executive officer of the trust, said: “I express my sincere apologies to anyone that we disturbed by the wedding event at the weekend.
“We had taken great care informing as many people as possible before the event and it is very unfortunate that key people were missed on this occasion.
“Before the event, we had already decided that in future, any weddings or events that take place will be focused entirely at The Foundry campus, and will not impact on people and nature in any adverse way.”