Save Weekley Hall Wood – a local campaign

I’ve been vaguely aware of this fairly local campaign (although Kettering seems a long way away from here in real life – try getting there by public transport!) for some time but now I’ve paid attention to it. Have a look at this video…

… and see if you’d like to sign the petition – click here – which isn’t far short of 20,000 signatures.

This campaign is typical of many across the country – local people fighting for their local wildlife in the teeth of big money and arguments that falsely go along the lines that we ‘need’ more stuff, more concrete pouring and more built development otherwise we’ll all feel unhappy. Little could be so far from the truth, and the planning system, despite everything that the concrete-pourers say, gives little help and little hope to the voices of local people.

Northamptonshire is becoming the warehouse capital of the East Midlands thanks to our proximity to the road links such as the A14 (linking to the M1 and M6 from east Northants), the M1 itself at the western end of th county and the A1 too. And these warehouses are pretty soulless buildings – they are much more permanent and ugly blots of the landscape compared with wind turbines for example. I must admit though, I’d quite like a look around one of them to see how busy, how full and how efficient it is.


2 Replies to “Save Weekley Hall Wood – a local campaign”

  1. This is scandalous – in the arable desert of Northants every bit of even faintly natural environment is irreplaceable. With all that biodiversity free arable there’s no shortage of no-regrets land for warehouses. No doubt some clown has claimed ‘its just conifers’ but the video shows just how attractive a well managed mixed woodland can be – because it’s well thinned there’s lots of light, and also lots of Oak and other native trees amongst the pines and I wonder just how many visits there are every year and how many people depend on this wood for their outdoors ? Nothing could illustrate better the balance between doorstep greenspace and the much more vaunted ‘protected landscapes’.

    I’m planning to respond to any outstanding planning applications and also to write to Lord Goldsmith asking (1) that if the applications are approved they should be called in and (2) that the Forestry Commission should be made a statutory consultee in the planning system where deforestation is involved as clearly it runs directly contrary to the Government’s ambition to increase tree cover.

    And one step further: with the lessons of Covid and the lottery-win scale of the money changing hands in these deals I would advocate that for every greenfield hectare developed there should be 5-10 hectares of green space – Raunds should have its own community wood in exchange for those blot on the landscape warehouses.

    1. The ground view was certainly more appealing than the one from the drone. It looked like it had a thriving ground flora and good shrub layer which isn’t common (not much dead wood though?) that wasn’t apparent from the drone footage. I remember Chris Baines saying how much underused warehouse space we had way back in 1987.

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