thunderclap logo
loading
×
×
×
×
×

Stop delaying, #SaveSmithyWood

by Sheffield Environmental category: Environment

“Sheffield Council, no amount of delay & mitigation can offset any destruction of the UKs last 2% of ancient woodland http://thndr.me/b6xt8b

profile image
Sheffield Environmental
Supporters
313 of 250
125% of goal supported
Social Reach
1,274,427
People
Time Left
Complete

Complete

This campaign ended on January 19, 2016 at 9AM

Stop delaying, #SaveSmithyWood

Today (Tuesday 19th January)  was supposed to be the day that Sheffield City Council's planning committee met to decide the fate of Smithy Wood however they announced in early January that the decision would be differed until Monday 29th February. This Thunderclap was planned to be open for the maximum amount of time possible, which is 60 days to give as many people as possible the chance register their support. With the council postponing their decision on Smithy Wood Services it would mean putting the date that the Thunderclap goes live beyond the 60 day mark. Due to licensing issues with Facebook any Thunderclap that remains open longer than 60 days would loose it's Facebook support, therefore the difficult decision was made to bring this original petition to an end on its original date and encourage anyone who joined it to register their support for the new one; https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/36504-savesmithywood?locale=en

The ‘Extra MSA’ group have submitted a plan proposing to build a new motorway service area, hotel and fast food court on Smithy Wood, an Ancient Woodland site located by Junction 35 of the M1 in the Chapeltown/Ecclesfield area of Sheffield. Smithy Wood lies in Sheffield's Green Belt and it is widely recognised as being regionally important for its diversity of invertebrate species. The local area has an economy largely based on services that include several food outlets, petrol stations and hotels which would all suffer as a result of this development. Any development of this kind would increase the flow of traffic around an already overly congested local road network leading to an increase in air pollution. This pollution would be amplified by the loss of this local woodland that acts as a noise and air pollution filter. Given this stretch of the M1's 4 Star Safety rating this development there is little need for people to rest on this stretch of motorway. Previously Smithy Wood has never been earmarked for development or formed a part of any Sheffield City Council enterprise zone, instead it has been identified for its ecological value. This is purely driven by a financial opportunity that drivers are not asking for. Local people do not want it and a group of us will gather outside the Sheffield Town Hall on Monday 29th February before the planning meeting to peacefully demonstrate our point.

We believe that Sheffield City council should throw out any application to destroy this woodland due to the protection given by its Green Belt status and its cultural heritage as one of the drivers of Sheffield's Industrial revolution as described by Melvyn Jones. Its archaeological heritage including the Sheffield area's first recorded metal works after which it takes its name, the remains of which are yet to be excavated and should be preserved for future generations. Its links to the Wantley Dragon in the once vast forest between Sheffield and Doncaster, as quoted by Sir Walter Scott in Ivanhoe. Its part of a large woodland wildlife Corridor (fragmented only by roads) which stretches between the M1 and the Peak District National Park which Sheffield Environmental is campaigning to be recognised as the Hallamshire Forest, a conservation and recreation destination in its own right in addition to the woodland's individual wildlife value. This isn't about saving a few trees, its about saving an important part of the Sheffield Landscape for cultural reasons and primarily because no amount of tree planting down the road can replace the biodiversity lost by the destruction this site that dates back more than 800 years. If Smithy Wood were a building it would be listed with a blue plaque on the wall to signify its importance in Sheffield's past as a woodland that drove the industrial revolution, its present as a beautiful woodland and its future as a significantly important wildlife site. Objectors to the scheme include Welcome Break who own and operate Woodall Services for cometition reasons and Rotherham Council because of the development's negative impacts on the part of Smithy Wood within the Rotherham Borough. Our message is simple, any development on Smithy Wood will permanently destroy a valuable local natural asset, people aren't asking for it, we don't want it, we don't need it.
#SaveSmithyWood #SmithyWoodSheffield #HallamshireForest
*Photo Credit; Friends of the Earth Sheffield



  • Thunderclap Success.. It would seem not!

    January 19, 2016
    Firstly I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who supported this Thunderclap to Save Smithy Wood. Unfortunately just as our message was being sent to the world at 9am Twitter went down. This meant that 142 supporters as of the time of writing have been unable to to get their message out. These accounts have the largest proportion of our 1.27million recipients. All I can do is promote the second Thunderlcap which I can't give an exact date on when it goes live because Sheffield Council seem to be indecisive on when the final planning meeting on the issue will be. It has been publicised in the press as being on Monday 29th February although at the Friends of the Earth Sheffield meeting last night I was told of it being on Tuesday 23rd February, making it almost week earlier. The second Thunderclap will go live and it will be on the day of the meeting. I'm sorry that I'm unable to give certain dates for the actual planning meeting and I'm sorry that I'm having to ask you to register your support for another Thunderclap; https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/36504-savesmithywood?locale=en

    *Edit; Twitter finally came back online at 10pm a whole hour after the Thunderclap almost clapped.
  • Thank you to all supporters, but...

    January 17, 2016
    Thank you to all supporters, this message will go out as originally planned on Tuesday morning to at the time of writing 756,540 different social media accounts. That number way exceeds the Sheffield population and will no doubt raise awareness of the threat to Smithy Wood. Unfortunately Tuesday 19th isn't the end of the matter, the final meeting will be on Monday 29th February according to the Star, Sheffield. Unfortunately this means that I need to ask you to support the 2nd #SaveSmithyWood Thunderclap. I'm sorry that it has come to this and I would like to apologise to those who I pestered via Twitter in particular to support this Thunderclap after the change in planning date. I hadn't seen the small print saying that Facebook doesn't allow Thunderclaps to run for more than 60 days at that point.
    Some of you may have noticed the change in name of this Thunderclap, that was done intentionally because surely if Smithy Wood has been designated as an area of conservation in the green belt due to its importance as a wildlife site the Council have surely said this site is not for development. That is the message that we are sending out to the world and we hope that the council are listening.
  • End of Thunderclap, new one available.

    January 12, 2016
    While looking through the Thunderclap small print I discovered that although this Thunderclap could be extended to match the date of the new Sheffield Council Planning meeting to decide the fate of Smithy Wood. I found that due to licensing from Facebook any Thunderclap running longer than 60 days would mean loosing our Facebook following. With a large proportion of our following relying on Facebook I had to take the decision to end this Thunderclap as originally planned on Tuesday 19th January. I hope that the publishing of this message en mass will encourage more people to want to take action and therefore I have started a second Thunderclap to go live on the date of the new Council meeting to decide the fate of Smithy Wood.
    The change of date could have had the effect of limiting the impact of our message and maybe that was part of Sheffield Council's reason for moving the date given the fact that high profile objectors to the scheme include Rotherham Council and Welcome Break who own Woodall Services. In addition to the official objectors supporters of this Thunderclap include the Woodland Trust, several regional branches of the CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) and many individuals including high profile environmentalists such as the Campaigner and Television Personality; Chris Packham as well as leader of the Green Party; Natalie Bennett.
    All I can do is thank everyone who joined this Thunderclap for their continued support and hope that they register their support for the new one by following the link below;
    Dave Dickinson
    https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/36504-sheffcouncil-savesmithywood

  • Planning Postponed, Thunderclap Extended

    January 4, 2016
    Sheffield Council have delayed their decision on the plans submitted for MSA's proposed service station at Smithy Wood from  until Tuesday 19th January until Monday 29th February. In short this means that we have more time to encourage as many people as possible to join the Thunderclap. Thank you again to everyone who has supported us so far but there is still a lot that we need to do. Having taken 19th January off work I now have a free day which I intend to use to make some kind of peaceful protest in Sheffield City Centre to Save Smithy Wood. Further details will be available nearer to the day as things are arranged.

  • Save Smithy Wood Thunderclap Official Target Reached!

    January 2, 2016
    Thank you to everyone who has joined the Thunderclap to Save Smithy Wood, we have reached the official target of 250 individual supporters which is an impressive number for a social media page that began less than 10 months before the start of the campaign. As an environmentalist who grew up looking out of their bedroom window at this woodland it really means a lot that so many other people want to save it too. For me this woodland is part of what ignited my passion for nature, ancient woodlands and the desire to create the Hallamshire Forest [see the "Hallamshire Forest Project" photo album in Sheffield Environmental on Facebook for more details].

    This campaign isn't just about wanting to save something in my back yard, according to the Woodland Trust we are down to just 2% ancient woodland cover in the UK. For a country that is supposed to be developed and sees itself as a world leader in conservation I find this statistic something of a tragedy. This is amplified by the fact that ancient woodland has no automatic statutory protection under UK law even though it is seen by many ecologists as our most important. As stated in the "Reasons to Save Smithy Wood" which I have regularly been posting on the Sheffield Environmental pages, according to Mel Jones the local historian. This woodland provided wood that was used for charcoal making which was then burned to heat the furnaces for the Sheffield area's first metal works. Its association with this metal works and subsequent industrial activity created small spoil tips within part of the site which created a mosaic of habitats. This mosaic is beneficial to a large diversity of different species which has resulted in the woodland being noted as regionally important for invertebrates. If Smithy Wood were a building I'm certain that it would have listed status and there would be a blue plaque on the wall stating its contribution to Sheffield's role in the Industrial Revolution and its importance to wildlife today. In addition to that its links with England's most famous dragon, the Wantley Dragon through Walter Scott's Ivanhoe and various folk tales.

    These facts and contributions to Sheffield's cultural history should ensure the safety of Smithy Wood however money talks and nothing is certain in politics and economics. We may have some big names from the Conservation and Environmental sector such as Natalie Bennett (Leader of the Green Party), Mark Avery (Blogger & Campaigner), Findlay Wild (Blogger & Campaigner) and Lucy McRobert (Wildlife Trusts Campaign Manager & Colomnist) among others like you. We just need more people to join us by supporting our campaign. If you have Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts that you haven't clicked to support the campaign can you please do so, this will push our message to more people.

    Finally a big thank you goes out to the Woodland Trust, Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust, Sheffield Friends of the Earth and the Cowley Residents Action Group who have all been publicly fighting this campaign since MSA Extra announced their plans to build the service station. They have been organising events, making press releases and collecting signatures throughout the consultation process. Without them the decision would probably been made a long time ago so please tell your friends, colleagues etc about this Thunderclap so we can round off their good work on a high. We can show Sheffield Council this site isn't suitable, the service station isn't needed, no one is asking for it and we don't want it!
Organizer

Sheffield Environmental
@ShefEnvironment

A social media community aiming to promote the good work being done for the environment in the Sheffield area while campaigning on conservation and environmental issues.

Recent Supporters
profile pic
Elena Hagopyan
over 2 years ago
profile pic
Pippa Collins
over 2 years ago
profile pic
pippa
over 2 years ago
profile pic
Jax
over 2 years ago
profile pic
Laura Snelling-Prostler
over 2 years ago
profile pic
Edita S
over 2 years ago
profile pic
Edita S
over 2 years ago
profile pic
Val Johnson
over 2 years ago
×