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Campaigns update: railways, housing plans and a win for ancient trees

The campaigns team has had another bumper month of threats to ancient woods and trees, with some familiar and some new needing us to help fight for their protection. Troublingly, we now have 823 woods under threat cases across the UK, smashing our previous high of 739. This is mostly due to more and more amazing supporters and volunteers letting us know about ancient woods under threat in their area and allowing us to fight for them too - thank you to everyone that has alerted us.

The hot topic: railways

As many of you will have seen in the news recently, Network Rail’s lineside tree management policies and specifically its plans for ‘enhanced clearance’ of trees and vegetation have come sharply into focus. After public outcry at the plans, we met with them to discuss the policy, pressing them with questions and concerns. We’ve also asked to be part of the government review, so watch this space for future updates.

In other news, HS2 is still high on the agenda after last month’s upsetting outcome for Whitmore Wood. Over 10,000 people have now got in touch with Nusrat Ghani MP to ask her to overturn the decision, as is within her power as Minister for Transport. She’s now agreed to meet with us to discuss our concerns further, so a big thank you for all your support. We have plenty more work to do around HS2, including giving more evidence at the HS2 select committee.

Our precious ancient trees face constant threats (Photo: Jack Taylor/WTML)
Our precious ancient trees face constant threats (Photo: Jack Taylor/WTML)

A win for our ancient trees

We are pleased to report that we have successfully campaigned against a housing development for 227 houses on an area of important wood pasture and parkland in West Berkshire. Aldermaston Park is home to over 300 valuable trees, of which 180 were to be removed to facilitate the housing scheme. Thankfully the council saw the immense value of keeping these wonderful trees - some of which are up to 600 years old - and turned the scheme down.

Europark plans for Scotland

We are working with our Scottish team against the impacts of a large scale residential development of over 2,600 houses in Airdrie, North Lanarkshire. In May we gained a tree preservation order for the woodland which would be affected by the scheme and we’ll shortly be sending our response to the proposals with the help of one of our wonderful threat detectors.

Wales needs you!

New threat detectors keen to defend ancient woods and trees are needed in Wales. This volunteering role is crucial to our work – we can only protect the woods and trees that we know are under threat and need you to be our eyes and ears on the ground. Please get in touch if you can help.

Let us know about threats so we can fight them together

Report a threat in your area