Locals show respect for their elders, ash and oak

I joined nearly 100 locals to protest against a new motorway service area at Smithy Wood, Sheffield.

Smithy Wood is situated off the M1 near Chapeltown, and is at risk of being destroyed after a planning application was submitted by Extra MSA. It would see 8.6ha (more than 20 acres) of ancient woodland demolished, despite its age being estimated at 850 years.

Ancient woodland’s undisturbed soils and ecosystems form the UK’s richest land habitat, and Smithy Wood in particular is vital to certain wildlife such as the red listed song thrush and amber listed Bullfinch. Smithy’s conservation importance is clear, but does this explain why so many locals (including one enthusiastic toddler and two boisterous Scottie dogs) came to our protest on such an overcast and blustery day?

The Trust was joined by local people for a peaceful protest at Smithy Wood before handing in a letter to the developers

The Trust was joined by local people for a peaceful protest at Smithy Wood before handing in a letter to the developer’s offices.

Walking through the woods on the 17th April with all these supporters offered me a chance to find out about the personal connections that individuals have with Smithy Wood. Many felt an intense connection to the site having played there when they were young, and memories of camping with the Scouts go back over 60 years. The wood is still used today by dog walkers, and several people visit the site with their children and grandchildren. Even those who had not been to the area recently had a wonderful reaction to the woodland around them – especially the brilliant carpet of bluebells that had come into bloom.

It is this connection to Smithy Wood which has also sparked anger and disbelief in some, as they realised that much of the publically accessible woodland promised by the development company if the plans were to go ahead already exists – and would anyway not compensate at all for the loss of Smithy.

That’s why, as well as objecting against the motorway service station, we are also supporting an application for Smithy Wood’s ‘Village Green’ status. This would protect the wood for the foreseeable future, and give the general public many more years of woodland benefits and enjoyment.

As we wait for the outcome of the Village Green status application, it’s important that as many people as possible formally object to the planning application before the consultation deadline on May 16th – so please add your name to our petition and then submit your objection on our Smithy Wood campaign page.

Hollie Anderson, Assistant PR Officer


About Kaye Brennan

Trying vegan, staying warm. Occasional bursts of words.
This entry was posted in Campaigning, Climate Change, Woods Under Threat and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Locals show respect for their elders, ash and oak

  1. Derek West says:

    If democracy still has any meaning in the UK this planning application to trash ancient woodland must be stopped.

  2. Jobo says:

    Please keep the ancient Woodland and find a brown earth site for the service stqaion

  3. Peter Steward says:

    Our ancient woodlands are much more important than profit making service stations.

  4. cartoonmick says:

    In-depth studies, carried out over the last 45 seconds, confirm there is a direct link between the climate and politics.

    Both climate and politics change over time !! A fact confirmed in the afore mentioned in-depth study.

    “Man” is the main cause of all political change, therefore “Man” is the main cause of climate change.

    The climate is seen as a problem if a particular political party is in power, whereas there is no problem at all to be see with the climate if the opposite party is at the helm.

    So, the simplest way to solve any climate problems is to keep that party “who see no problems”, in power.

    Not only will this save the Earth from certain destruction, it will save a lot of money in the national budget as there’ll be no need for climate science committees, reports, analysis, action etc.

    Prior to the 45 second in-depth study, a cartoon was created, which may, or may not, conflict with the theme of the above summary.

    That climate change cartoon is here . . . . . . . .



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