Stories from the Campaigner’s Postbag

We love to hear from our supporters – each month we receive hundreds of messages about concerns for locally cherished woods and trees which come under threat from the bulldozer.  If you are worried about a tree or a wood nearby you can download advice and guidance from our website.

With the invaluable help of our supporters the Woodland Trust keeps a beady eye out for threats to ancient woodland and endeavours to submit objections wherever possible. With over 444 on-going threats to ancient woodland it goes without saying that there is never a dull moment.  You can help us be the voice of woods and trees:

  • Take action in our national campaign asking the Prime Minister to put better protection in place for ancient woodland

As ever we are experiencing a steady stream of new threats to ancient woodland. Here is a great example of how one community is standing up to persistant development in their local area.

NAAG July 2013

NAAG presenting their petition to the Town Council in July 2013

Save Bluebell Wood!

In early spring  2013 the Woodland Trust  was contacted by New Allington Action Group (NAAG) with their concerns about proposals for 500 houses to be built on Bluebell Wood- a locally treasured fragment of ancient woodland just over a kilometre away from Oaken Wood in Kent.

In the space of a few short months the group was formed and had gathered 2,000 signatures for a petition which was presented to the Town Hall in July 2013.

However only a matter of months after the Secretary of State Eric Pickles rang the death knell for neighbouring Oaken Wood in July 2013, a planning application to build 500 houses destroying Bluebell Wood was officially submitted in October by developers Croudace.

NAAG lost no time in rallying as many local people as possible to submit objections, join in fundraising events and attend a protest march which was covered by the local media. With a lively website, active calendar of events and dialogue with the local council NAAG are well positioned to push for the protection of precious Bluebell Wood.


From this map of the Forest of Anderida, it is evident that the area was wooded in Roman Britain

As part of the planning application, the antiquity of Bluebell Wood was challenged- posing a threat to what little protection the designation of ‘ancient’ affords. With the help of passionate Woodland Trust Volunteers research was gathered and a robust counter-argument submitted including numerous maps from Roman times indicating that the area has been continuously wooded.

Last month the draft local plan was released, stating that there will be no link road through Bluebell Wood. This is a promising step but we still have a long road ahead to secure the protection of Bluebell Wood.

The struggle to safeguard Bluebell Wood against development is another example of how the planning system is failing irreplaceable ancient woodland. Add your support to the on-going fight to protect ancient woodland in the UK by taking part in our campaign here.


About matinaloizou

Government Affairs Officer at the Woodland Trust
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2 Responses to Stories from the Campaigner’s Postbag

  1. Ash says:

    Politicians take advantage of the fact that once we vote them in, it will be some time before we can remove them if we are unhappy with their performance. So what they do (best) is spin & bluff & bluster just to keep us thinking that they are doing a good job. Not only must we be constantly on their backs but we must also be involved on the ground, in the woods, the fields, on the hills & the mountains.

  2. Peter Kyte says:

    A lot of development takes place on irreplaceable sites because it is easier for developers than building on brownfield sites. We all must be vigilant and get organised to fight off these developments, because once gone, they are gone forever.

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