In 2019, Highways England, now National Highways, proposed six route options for an Arundel bypass. The road would link the existing dual carriageway on each side of the Sussex town - but each option threatened irreplaceable ancient woodland or veteran trees. A route has now been chosen and though ancient woods are no longer directly affected, it will impact several ancient and veteran trees.

Proposals for the new bypass road were first put forward in 2017. Thousands of you joined our campaign to save ancient woodland in Arundel and the project was put on hold, until it resurfaced in 2019.

The so-called ‘grey route’ was chosen as the preferred option in 2020. Arundel’s ancient woodlands are no longer threatened with destruction, but according to National Highways' consultation documents, the route will affect a number of ancient and veteran trees. It will also have implications for other important habitats and wildlife, such as bats.

More to do for irreplaceable habitats

These veteran trees are irreplaceable habitats for wildlife and there is still work to do to ensure they are not lost to the scheme. Nearby areas of ancient woodland must also be protected from indirect impacts. Local campaigners are questioning the need for the scheme at all.

Nature is a necessity not a luxury. Infrastructure projects aimed at easing congestion must not damage or destroy irreplaceable wildlife habitats. In a nature and climate emergency, other more sustainable transport options must be considered that protect Arundel’s natural landscape from damage and destruction.

National Highways has recently consulted on the preferred route. We submitted a strong objection to the plans, and we will keep you informed of any further updates that might affect ancient woods and veteran trees.

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