Woodland Trust anger at latest "brazen" threat to ancient woods

Proposals to build a motorway service area by the M42 near Solihull in the West Midlands would mean partial loss of the ancient Aspbury's Copse, the Woodland Trust has warned.

Image: Barry Lewis
Image: Barry Lewis

The trust is already contesting proposals by the same developer, Extra Motorway Services, to clear ancient woodland at Smithy Wood by the M1 near Sheffield, again to build a service station.

Woodland Trust head of campaigning Nikki Williams said: "It's unbelievable that an organisation could be so brazen as to propose a motorway service area that destroys ancient woodland anywhere, but Extra Motorway Services obviously has no shame when it comes to destroying the UK's precious and irreplaceable habitats.

"This second lot of proposals, added to those we're already fighting by Extra at Smithy Wood, Sheffield, are completely unacceptable and we will be joining forces with longstanding local campaign groups to object in the strongest terms."

Across the UK there are currently threats to more than 400 ancient woods, which have only weak protection in law, the trust has said.

Extra has said that a service area is needed at this point on the M42 as currently the gaps between facilities in the area "considerably exceed" government recommendations.

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