It’s just over a year since the community group’s campaign to save Weekley Hall Wood was started in response to the planning application by Buccleuch Properties for massive warehouse development on the closest part of Rockingham Forest to Kettering, between Brambleside and Geddington. The public response has been amazing and over 15000 people have signed the online petition which is still open via link on the website Surveys have shown over 1000 people use it each day at weekends, and over 700 on a daily basis.

The environmental and biodiversity value of the land is clearly important, and the need for woodland and meadowland as a carbon sink in response to the Climate Emergency, rather than more warehouses and tarmac, is ever more apparent. It has been a real community effort with local people and groups involved to help record species of plants and animals. The second phase of the application would destroy an amazing cowslip meadow, and cowslips are also prevalent across the rest of the land. Red listed grasshopper warblers and skylarks can be heard - and sometimes seen - in the early summer. Bees, butterfl ies and badgers, and more, abound. But it is still not clear when the planning application will be heard. The team has read countless reports and submissions, and are as prepared as they can be to make the case to save this precious piece of our Northamptonshire countryside.

Attempts have also been made to develop relationships with the Buccleuch Estate, and the Montagu Scott Douglas family, demonstrating the organisation’s commitment to the local area and to show how widespread the love of the area in question is. A more positive legacy would surely be protection of the wood, rather than its destruction, through the establishment of a Country Park, based on the Estate’s principles of education, environment and community, preserving its beauty and celebrating its history as part of the ancient Rockingham Forest - and its more recent place within the industrial heritage of the area - for the people of Kettering and the surrounding villages for perpetuity.  

Saving The Forest On Your DoorstepSaving The Forest On Your Doorstep