Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Deforestation - this far and no further

A new report out today reveals that the UK is losing Ancient Woodland at a rate faster than the Amazon

The Woodland Trust defines 'Ancient Woodland' as any that is over 400 years old, and almost half of it has been lost in the past 80 years. A quote from the trust tells us all we should need to know:

"Ancient woodland, designated as over 400 years old in England, is the UK's equivalent of rainforest. It is irreplaceable ... It's our most valuable space for wildlife, and home to rare and threatened species. Once these woods have gone, they will never come back. They are historical treasure troves"

The Guardian article highlights Two Mile Coppice, which is threatened by the Weymouth Relief Road - a compulsory purchase order is due any day after the government approved the scheme recently. Needless to say, the group opposing it need all the support they can get.

Swallows Wood is highlighted in the report too - if you use the map on the Woodland Trust's Woodwatch website, you'll find it there. The Woodland Trust define it as 'Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland'. We'd like to remind readers that Longdendale's Village Idiot (aka Councillor Sean Parker-Perry) once set about trying to demolish the reputation of this Wood by editing Wikipedia, evidence of which can be found here

That the UK can lose almost 50% of it's Ancient Woodland in less than a century is chilling, but it's also outrageous that 243 Woods are threatened by road schemes. We need to be clear that this has to stop: in Longdendale, some people are prepared to defend our Woodland from attacks made against it. Deforestation has to stop, and we are prepared to do our bit.

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