It’s another sad day for ancient woodland in the UK. As if being hit on all sides from development wasn’t enough, a new type of threat emerges, oil exploration.
Despite calls from the Trust, West Sussex’s own Landscape Officer and Ecologist, Chichester District Council, the South Downs Joint Committee and local conservationists and community, the County Council has given the go ahead to allow Northern Petroleum to drill an exploration bore hole in the search of devils black gold.
Initially, the exploration hole itself will destroy a hectare of irreplaceable ancient woodland, the richest habitat for species in the UK, our equivalent of rainforests. In the long term we could see a whole lot more of the South Downs get destoyed in the future. Once the undisturbed soils found in this woodland are destroyed they are lost forever. Its another example of local government cronies putting the search for money above that of protecting our natural heritage for future generations, if we keep going like this they’ll be no green spaces left for our children to enjoy.
Now is the time to move away from fossil fuels and put our efforts into the search for renewable energy, whilst reducing our consumption as climate change is the greatest long term threat to ancient woodland.
Just in case I’m not frustrated with County Council planning committees enough, we hear of another ancient woodland under threat in North Lincolnshire. Over 50 hectares of woodland is under threat in Broughton from a golf course extension proposal. Not happy with 18 holes they want to destroy an equal size part of this ancient woodland for 18 more. Used heavily by the local community, have you ever seen such a case of benefit for the elite few against benefit for the local community.
Help us to fight the threats to our irreplaceable ancient woodland habitats by getting involved with the Trust, the woodland will be grateful, we’ll be grateful and I’m sure there’s some wildlife that will be very grateful if we save their habitat. Act now visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk