thunderclap logo
loading
×
×
×
×
×

#SaveSmithyWood

by Sheffield Environmental category: Environment

“Sheffield Council, our nationally important green belt ancient woodland must be saved for the future #SaveSmithyWood http://thndr.me/b6xt8b

profile image
Sheffield Environmental
Supporters
301 of 250
120% of goal supported
Social Reach
479,750
People
Time Left
Complete

Complete

This campaign ended on March 10, 2016 at 9AM

#SaveSmithyWood

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, (when the council finally announce the new date!) before the planning meeting to peacefully demonstrate our point. Sheffield City Council have postponed this decision many times now which is why this Thunderclap message is being sent out for a second time. We were forced to ask people to rejoin this Thunderclap after the council postponed the meeting to decide the woodland's fate on 19th January because it would have meant that the sign up duration was more than 60 days meaning that we would have lost our support on Facebook. We hope that this move was for legitimate reasons and not intended to limit the impact of our message.


We believe that Sheffield City council should throw out any application to destroy this woodland without further delay 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 competition 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. We've already had to restart this Thunderclap once, no amount of delay and offsetting can truly mitigate for the further destruction of our last remaining 2% of ancient woodland cover.

The Save Smithy Wood Thunderclap forms the first part of the #SaveAncientWoodland Campaign which is being run in the form of an online petition on the UK Government and Parliament Website until August. If you agree with us that all UK ancient woodland should be given statutory protection, please sign the peition; https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/118164/sponsors/ZgAkSN22FxI4Ph71pauw

#SaveSmithyWood #SmithyWoodSheffield #HallamshireForest
*Photo Credits; Main Image; Friends of the Earth Sheffield, Background Photo; the Woodland Trust, Banner; Sheffield Environmental


  • Thank you for your support

    March 9, 2016
    Thank you to everyone for registering your support to Save Smithy Wood, you have ensured that this second Thunderclap goes to more than 400,000 people. However Sheffield City Council have again delayed the decision on the service station pushing it back to June at least. Is this good for the woodland? Only time will tell, one thing that I have learned while running the two Thunderclap campaigns is that there is a lot of support for saving ancient woodland out there. For the first Thunderclap we were supported by the likes of Chris Packham and Natalie Bennett, while they may not have supported the second Thunderclap some other members of the BBC Wildlife Magazine Power 50 did such as Findley Wild. A massive than you goes out to you and especially Team4Nature who have really helped to draw more supporters in from around the UK. I don't know if I will run another #SaveSmithyWood Thunderclap at this point in time, instead I may focus on other methods of raising awareness of our plight in the media. If you want to further help protect ancient woodland there is the #SaveAncientWoodland Thunderclap which supports the petition to give statutory protection to all ancient woodland. This petition is on the UK Government's petition website and once it reaches 10,000 signatures there will be an official response. I request that everyone who cares about ancient woodland, wildlife and the environment signs this our climate and nature depend on ancient woodland. Without ancient woodland we cannot rewild the countryside, prevent future flooding or remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere effectively; https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/38597-saveancientwoodland-petition?locale=en

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
Hal of Hallamshire
about 2 years ago
profile pic
#End BSL
about 2 years ago
profile pic
Rhiannon Thomas
about 2 years ago
profile pic
Fiona Kathleen Hillyer
about 2 years ago
profile pic
Harriet Drouin
about 2 years ago
profile pic
kate nockles
about 2 years ago
profile pic
Pete Carr
about 2 years ago
profile pic
Christine M Buckle
about 2 years ago
×