Frustrated residents have raised fresh concerns over “neglected” woodland in High Wycombe after a tree fell down last week and blocked a public footpath.

Residents living next to privately-owned Five Acre Wood in Sands have been living in fear as “diseased” trees regularly fall down, damaging homes and vehicles in their path.

Last weekend, as gale-force winds swept the county, another tree fell across a footpath that runs alongside the woodland - which residents say could have killed someone. 

Residents first highlighted the issue in 2017 and called on Wycombe District Council (WDC) and the woodland’s owners to take action, however only two “dangerous” trees have been felled since.

Paul Howfield, who lives next to the woodland, said: “The tree fell down at around lunch time on Saturday on to the public footpath all the way down.

“If someone had been walking along there it could have killed them but nobody seems to care about the trees, the landowner doesn’t care.

“What does it take? For somebody to be killed before something is done about it?”

Bucks county councillor for West Wycombe, Darren Hayday, says his attempts to get the landowner to maintain the woodland has been like “banging [his] head against a brick wall”.

He said: “Those woods are badly managed and a lot of the trees are in a bad state.

“I have been banging my head against a brick wall trying to contact the landowners and get them to do something about it – however they have only dealt with two trees and that was it.

“The owners need to get involved – they need to hire a professional tree surgeon to go an assess the trees and chop down the ones that are in a bad state.”

Cabinet member for planning and environment at Bucks County Council, Bill Chapple, said the authority will contact the landowners and instruct them to remove the fallen tree.

He said: “I’ve now looked into this and I’m concerned that this is totally blocking the footpath.

“We’re contacting the owner and following this up with enforcement action if necessary next week.

“If the tree is not removed as soon as possible, we’ll clear the footpath and charge the owner for the work.”

However,  spokesman for WDC, Sue Robinson, said residents will need to speak to the landowners about the issue “as it is a private matter”.

She said: “We are aware of the fallen tree. Our advice to both past and present residents has been, and continues to be, that they need to contact the owner because this is a private matter.

“We would urge them to make contact and ensure that the owner is aware.”