A council has been criticised of “wanton destruction” of woodland after releasing plans for a city park.

Brighton and Hove Council is preparing to clear areas of Wild Park to make land for sheep to graze. The first stage will see workers move in this autumn to clear areas of scrub.

However, the plans have been met with anger with one resident calling on the council to re-think the proposals. James Parrott said he was shocked to see notices of the proposals when walking in the park.

In a letter to his local councillors, he said: “Your justification for this destruction and enclosure is the return of the park to ‘semi-natural grassland’ by removing large areas of ‘scrubland’.

“How can this woodland be described as scrubland?

“Since the end of the Second World War, Wild Park has gradually turned back to its natural habitat of first shrub and now woodland.

“Brighton and Hove Council should be proud that they have created an area of woodland.”

As a consequence of creating the grazing areas, more of the park will be fenced off for the likes of dog walkers, cyclists and children.

Mr Parrott added: “These woodland areas provide much needed protection for small birds and mammals. It is also a beautiful place for walkers and children to play.

“They want to destroy this woodland and will compound this destruction by enclosing this common land for sheep grazing which will restrict use by all.

“Brighton and Hove is not a large city. It is surrounded by grazing land and has very few natural woods. Why do they want to destroy this one?”

The council said that scrubland had taken over the park and that the work was necessary. The initial work is part of a ten-year plan which began this spring.

It comes following a local consultation in which the council said its “management principles” were supported by 69% of respondents.

Click here to see the detailed plans.