PROTESTORS gathered in Withybush Woods on Monday (August 20) to protest the removal of the ‘fairy doors’ by Pembrokeshire County Council.

The council said they removed the decorative doors because of a complaint by a member of the public about plastic, glitter and other materials which could pose a risk to the environment.

The protest was set up by Steph Blything and Angie Spolton-Jones, who disputed the reasoning, arguing there was already a lot of rubbish in the woods.

“I’ve picked up four bags of rubbish in two days,” said Ms Spolton-Jones. “If they’re collecting the fairy doors because they think they are damaging why are they not collecting the rest of the rubbish?”

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Ms Blything and Ms Spolton-Jones said they wanted to become an officially recognised group, so they could work with the council to do litter picks in the woods and arrange classes to teach people how to make environmentally friendly fairy doors.

“We plan to make the litter pick an ongoing thing,” Steph said. “We want to encourage the local children to come out and enjoy the fresh air, and just help us make a beautiful place to visit and enjoy.”

Anna Picton and her son Archie, seven, were both sad to see the fairy doors and various statues removed.

Archie, who has severe autism, visits the woods multiple times a week to see the doors. Ms Picton said that seeing the various statues helped relieve some of Archie’s symptoms.

“He used to say hello to the frog statue that was on a stump near the entrance, but they’ve taken that away,” Ms Picton said.

“The fairy doors relieved that need for him to bring sticks home, now we’re back to collecting leaves and branches. He becomes so fixated on the branches.”

Ms Picton said she felt that the council should have asked people to replace anything bad for the environment or given more notice.

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“I was upset when they were removed, I loved that people left them alone, they were never vandalised.

“The fact that there was no warning, there was no chance to move things that they had there. This is not just kids littering the place, it means something.”

Archie’s own fairy door is the only not to have been removed by the council. Ms Picton said she was not sure if it had been taken and put back, but she was glad it was still there.

A spokesman for the council said: “The council is considering establishing a fairy sculpture trail in the woods at Scolton Manor.

“This would be a natural progression from the temporary fairy door trails established in the woods at Scolton over the Christmas period and the fairy wooden sculpture chair located in the sunflower labyrinth a little over a year ago in the walled garden on the estate.

“We would be happy for fairy doors to be located in Scolton woods – a daily-managed site – rather than at Withybush as it would complement what is already being planned.”

A member of the public has appealed for everyone to look out for two stones that they had placed next to their fairy door.

The stones, which were polished, read Mami and Mair and were not taken away with the rest of the fairy doors.

If you have seen these stone please contact Haverfordwest town council.

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