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Campaigns update: join the call for improved ancient woodland mapping

It’s been two months since we responded to the HS2 Phase 2b Environmental Statement draft consultation. But our campaigning against the project damaging valuable ancient woods continues. With such a big infrastructure project there’s always something going on! We’ve also been campaigning on some smaller threats, and celebrating some much needed successes.

The fight against HS2 rumbles on

We’re currently responding to the second round of ‘revised provisions’ for HS2 Phase 2a - the section from West Midlands to Crewe. We’re objecting to any suggested changes that threaten ancient woodland even more than the original proposals.

At the same time, our HS2 guru, Luci Ryan, has given evidence at a number of Westminster forums and select committees. It’s a long, gruelling case but we’re determined to protect these irreplaceable habitats. Your support makes so much difference. Thank you.

Weedonhill Wood in Buckinghamshire is one of many threatened by HS2 (Photo: Paul Glendell)
Weedonhill Wood in Buckinghamshire is one of many threatened by HS2 (Photo: Paul Glendell)

Tireless campaigning finally brings success in Scotland

Large infrastructure planning applications and campaigns can last for years but it’s important not to give up hope. Our perseverance has been rewarded in Scotland, where planning for the west section of a quarry near Lanark has finally been refused.

We’ve campaigned on this site for more than seven years due to the threat to ancient woodland, and we’re delighted by the Scottish Government’s decision. Saving a piece of ancient woodland gives it a chance to thrive for generations to come.

Checking local plans saves ancient woods in Bedford

Alongside these high profile cases, we’re always responding to threats from smaller developments. These can appear in local plans - documents that define and dictate the scope of any future development in an area.

It’s especially important that local plans are checked carefully for any threats to ancient woodland. Our woods under threat detectors are fantastic at alerting us to any concerns. These threats may not always be obvious, but they can massively impact a local landscape in the long run.

We responded to the Bedford Local Plan to highlight a number of woods that, at the time, weren’t recorded on the Ancient Woodland Inventory. Six of these woods have since been confirmed as ancient. Bedford Borough Council has now adjusted the local plan to save those irreplaceable habitats, which is great news.

Let us know about the ancient woods that need our help

Become a woods under threat detector

The call for improved ancient woodland mapping

This case is one of many which highlight the importance of mapping ancient trees and woods. If they can be identified we can defend them, and crucially developers can avoid them!

If the status of these Bedford woods had not been properly determined, they could have been lost forever. To help avoid losses in future, we need better mapping.

To this end, Michael Fabricant MP tabled a bill in Parliament to improve the mapping of ancient woodland across the UK. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on ancient woodland and veteran trees will discuss the bill in more detail when it meets on 20 March. The success of the bill depends on how many MPs support it, so please complete our simple form to encourage your MP to attend the meeting.

To improve ancient woodland mapping, we need support from your MPs

Invite your MP to the meeting