Public meeting to be held to discuss future of ancient Smithy Wood

Public meeting to be held to discuss future of ancient Smithy Wood

DIARY DATE:

7pm, Wednesday October 2, 2013. Newton Hall, Cowley Lane, Chapeltown

Media is invited to attend and Woodland Trust spokespeople will be available.

A public meeting will be held this week in Chapeltown, just north of Sheffield, about proposals to site a motorway service station in ancient Smithy Wood just outside the village.

The meeting will enable the public to hear from and question local MPs, Woodland Trust representatives – including conservation experts, local ecologist and historians.

Smithy Wood is an ancient woodland – of which there are extremely few left in the UK (just 2% of our land cover is ancient woodland). Ancient Woodland is our last remaining link with the original wild wood established after the last ice age and is irreplaceable.

Oliver Newham said: “This will be the last real opportunity for local residents to have their say about the proposals and to ask questions that may persuade the developer to think again before they put in a full planning application.”

Smithy Wood is a prime example of where an ancient woodland, recognised locally as important for nature conservation, is being gradually chipped away and fragmented until eventually nothing will be left. The proposal to develop on Smithy Wood even goes against Sheffield’s local plan.”

The Woodland Trust’s campaign has been inundated with support from local residents and petition signatories asking for the service station to be sited elsewhere currently stand at more than 2,200. We believe that there are a number of other sites nearby which that could offer a viable alternative.

Full details of public meeting:

7pm, Wednesday October 2, 2013

Newton Hall, Cowley Lane, Chapeltown

Confirmed attendees:

Professor Melvyn Jones, local ancient woodland expert

Richard Barnes, Woodland Trust

Liz Ballard, the Chief Executive of the Wildlife Trust for Sheffield and Rotherham

Angela Smith MP

Jean Howe, Chair of Cowley Residents Action Group

Andrew Long, Chief Exec of Extra Motorway Service Area has also been invited.

Visit http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/savesmithywood to find out more about our campaign.

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