A few days ago, I wrote a blog about why ancient woodland is special, and why Hopwas Woods need to be saved.
Well, people power has worked. After a huge public outcry, a massive campaign on social media with over 10,000 followers on Facebook and a petition on Change.org, today we heard that Lafarge Tarmac have withdrawn their application to Staffordshire County Council to quarry under this beautiful ancient woodland. The campaign attracted national media interest, the support of the Woodland Trust, and of the local MP, Christopher Pincher.
This is fantastic news, and a demonstration that if people club together, it is possible to overturn corporate decisions.
It does not, however, take away from the fact that ancient woodland is special, and that it needs to be protected. This blog could have been written about any number of sites across England, Wales and Scotland that are threatened by development. The fact is that protections for ancient woodland are very weak. Ancient Woodland is one of a number of irreplaceable habitats that need additional protection under wildlife and environmental law. Exactly what those in power don’t understand about the word “irreplaceable” I do not know. Perhaps by reading the blog, they will gain some understanding.