Keeping the forest on our doorstep.

The next step for the Save Weekley Hall Wood community action group, made up of concerned local organisations and passionate individuals opposed to the destruction of woodland and meadowland by massive warehouse development, is to challenge imaginations and champion the vision of a Country Park for Kettering.

Weekley Hall Wood is the nearest part of the ancient Rockingham Forest to Kettering - just across the road from Brambleside, including well-trodden footpaths all the way to Geddington Grange. Apart from the rich biodiversity - plants, animals and insects - of the area that would be degraded by the plan to build warehouses, the wood is an often overlooked part of the history of the area as a royal hunting forest, containing ancient woodland with feudal connections to Buccleuch and the Boughton Estate, and part of the proud industrial heritage of Kettering’s quarrying for ironstone, relics of which can still be found there. Its unique position brings together the ancient and recent past, and a Country Park would combine this and look positively towards the future.

The vision of the group is that rather than destroying an important feature of Kettering’s history and natural resources it would be better to strengthen and develop the area, building on Buccleuch’s principles of education, community and the environment, creating an imaginative and open green space as a legacy for the future. This is particularly important at the moment as the Covid lockdown has shown us how important green open spaces are, and the Climate Emergency also focuses our minds to think again before destroying our natural environment.

Thousands of people are opposed to the warehouse development. Surveys the group has carried out counted over 1000 adults and children - and their dogs - accessing the area each day at the weekend, and over 700 each day during the week. So many people have told how important it is to them for walking, biking, running, and just getting out into the countryside. Many have visited the area for years and are now sharing it with their children and grandchildren.

Over 11,000 people have signed the petition to save the wood, which is still open for signatures. The group has seen how much this area means to local people, and is committed to campaign to save it on their behalf. The creation of a Country Park for Kettering, one of the few towns in North Northamptonshire without one, could conserve, enhance and celebrate the natural environment of the area at a time when the new unitary authority of North Northamptonshire is being established.

You can also support the campaign by purchasing the Save Weekley Hall Wood calendar, with stunning pictures of the wood taken by photographer Dan Whitney and by members of the community and designed by Katie Brosnan and Sara Mayer - available for £10. 

Save Weekley Hall Wood

Save Weekley Hall Wood