Not so Fine Shade (6) – the council decides

DSCF2971_2The future of Fineshade Wood is becoming a local cause celebre with national resonance.

My Guardian blog has, so far, been shared on social media about 2000 times, and received over 150 comments (mostly shocked at what is going on there).

The e-petition on this subject has passed 3000 signatures.

The chief executive of the Wildlife Trusts, Stephanie Hilborne, has tweeted ‘Not what the forestry panel wanted. This detracts from a woods’ value big time. Wrong call. @‘ in response to my asking her and Mike Clarke (RSPB) whether this was what the Independent Forestry Panel envisaged for our forests.

The local MP, Andy Sawford, has tweeted ‘Stop the backdoor privatisation of our forests. Please read and RT this article by @ ‘ and also has written to the planning committee asking them to take account of local opposition and reject the proposal.

And I keep hearing of concerns about Forest Holidays developments, either built or proposed, in other parts of our forest estate.

But all this comes to a head in the Development Control Committee meeting of East Northants District Council, in Thrapston, this evening some time after 7pm. I will pay particular attention to the three-minute presentation of David Williamson, Head of Recreation at the Forestry Commission. Remember – the Forestry Commission is ‘us’ – the taxpayer.  These are our forests, bought with our taxes, for our futures.

I will tweet from the meeting if possible, and will write a short blog later this evening – that’ll be Not so Fine Shade (7), I guess. And then, I hope there will be a celebratory blog tomorrow morning (Not so Fine Shade (8)) and that will be an end of it. On the other hand, we may have quite a few Not so Fine Shade blogs to come.

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3 Replies to “Not so Fine Shade (6) – the council decides”

  1. Fantastic effort, keep it up - there are many other similar proposals on Forest land coming out of the woodwork in England. Fine shade is a litmus to the way things may go in Northamptonshire and also Gloucestershire where the Forest of Dean is under threat from a project ten times as big and with even more to lose at Cinderford Northern Quarter.

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  2. Attempting to conserve the wildlife we have left appears to be a continual battle.
    Readers who know Cambridge will be astonished that the old shades of Grey at Wandlebury are in considerable danger. The 100 year old walnut tree on the Ring, which would have been known to Lady Grey, the last occupant of Gog Magog House, was felled on March 10th with no adequate notice and permission from the Forestry Commission only after the contractors had arrived. Unbelievable? There is lots more of the same sort: 16 other trees, 11 of which were perfectly healthy, were felled at the same time within the bird nesting season. Three of these, including the Walnut, had been the happy home of a variety of bats. The plan, prevented by local protesters, was to fell several dozen more, with the possibility of the clearance of 300 trees to 'protect the iron age ring ditch'. This is listed on the English Heritage At Risk Register as 'Low risk .......danger from vandals.' Since then, the expert Rangers, who advised against this vandalism, have been sacked. If you would like to know more, much more, please contact me. Julia Napier

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