Kettering wood campaign group joins forces with conservation charity

The group say they're immensely proud to be working with them

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 12:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 12:18 pm
Children and parents at an activity day in the wood. Picture by Siobhan Currie.
Children and parents at an activity day in the wood. Picture by Siobhan Currie.

A community group set up to try and save a Kettering wood which is under threat from a planned warehouse park has joined forces with The Woodland Trust

Save Weekley Hall Wood is now a charter branch of the conservation charity, and will be working with a network of other charter branches to bring the 'tree charter' principles to Kettering on their mission to save the wood to the north of the town.

A petition against the planned development by Buccleuch Property (Kettering) Ltd for five warehouses and an industry unit, which would see 40,000 sq m of woodland removed, has now attracted 12,500 signatures but the application is yet to come before a planning committee.

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Steve Esler from the community group said: “We are immensely proud to be working with the Woodland Trust.

"Not only does the network of like-minded campaign groups across the UK strengthen our team, but it also gives us the opportunity to spread their message to the local community.”

The 'tree charter' draws its strength from people and communities across the UK who stand up for trees, and adopt the charter’s ten principles which include sustaining and protecting our precious woodland, celebrating trees and promoting them to raise awareness and increase accessibility to working with town planners to include trees, and tree planting projects and afforestation.

Zara Holden​, The Woodland Trust's tree charter programme delivery lead, said: "We’re delighted Save Weekley Hall Wood have decided to support the tree charter movement, joining the incredible network of community groups across the UK fighting for their local woods and trees."

Save Weekley Hall Wood say they are 'hugely honoured' to be accepted as a charter branch and have many activities planned for when lockdown is eased.

Dez Dell from the group said: “Save Weekley Hall Wood fits perfectly with the ten principles of the tree charter and I’m so pleased we have become a charter branch. We welcome this support from the Woodland Trust joining that of the thousands of local residents who love this area.

"Regarding the warehouses - the plans haven’t come before the planning committee yet, and with the upcoming local elections, we believe they will be delayed until afterwards.”

There is currently a Government consultation on proposed changes to the ‘National Policy Planning Framework’, which would have a direct impact on the protection of trees in urban areas, especially with regard to planning policy for any new developments.

The Save Weekley Hall Wood team encouraged people to take part and give their views by using this template letter or by visiting https://consult.communities.gov.uk/planning-policy-and-reform/national-planning-policy-framework-and-national-mo/.

Zara Holden of the Woodland Trust added: “We have supported their (Save Weekley Hall Wood's) response to the latest public consultation for the National Planning Policy Framework, and we have high hopes Kettering’s future design codes will consider woods and trees in new developments.”

Buccleuch Property (Kettering) Ltd say new woodland will be created to mitigate the loss of trees, adding that its impact would not be significant.

If approved the warehouses would total about 30,000 sq m with access from the nearby hamburger roundabout.

There would be 400 car parking spaces with estimates of 700 full-time jobs and further indirect jobs.

To view the petition against the plans visit https://bit.ly/saveourwoodpetition