As our press release says, the Scottish Government has finally chosen to grant permission for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route. While it says we are “disappointed” personally I’m feeling frustrated and more than a little angry. As the Woods under Threat Officer for Scotland I’ve visited all of the woods we brought to the attention of the Public Inquiry. While we tried to convey to the public inquiry how special and irreplaceable these woods are, they have chosen to go ahead with this hugely damaging route and carve a swathe out of the Aberdeenshire countryside.
Other groups have spoken publicly about the increased CO2 emissions which such a large road will generate (climate change being another threat to ancient woodland), making the Scottish Government’s commitments within the recent Climate Change Bill sound a little hollow.
My heart goes out to the people who have known and loved these woods their whole lives, and it raises fears for other woods in the vicinity of the road, as further development can’t be far behind – but that’s a fight for another day.