Save Weekley Hall Wood – the forest on our doorstep!

By John Padwick on November 11, 2020

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Save Weekley Hall Wood is a community action group formed to protect Weekley Hall Wood and wildflower meadow from developers’ plans to build warehousing on a beloved Kettering woodland area. It is made up of concerned local organisations and passionate individuals opposed to the destruction of our countryside and is the last remaining part of Rockingham Forest close to Kettering.

Kettering Labour is part of the campaign, along with many other organisations drawn from the community including The Green Patch, Youth Works, Johny’s Happy Place, Glendon Farm Montessori & Forest School, Kettering Green Party, Kettering Eco Group, Kettering Extinction Rebellion and Kettering & Wellingborough Co-operative Party.

The campaign is fighting to save the woodland and the surrounding wildflower meadow, where butterflies and bees can be seen amongst the cowslips and primroses blossoming abundantly in spring, skylarks and grasshoppers warblers can be heard in the summer, and now the autumn colours are so beautiful, just across the road from Brambleside, for future generations.  

Thousands of people are opposed to this development. Recent surveys have shown that hundreds of adults and children - and their dogs - access the area each week and so many of them have told us 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.

Nearly 10,000 people have signed a petition to save the wood, which is still open for signatures - please click here to sign it if you haven't done so already.

How wonderful it would be if the woodland could be saved and converted into a countryside park for Kettering? With educational and environmental activities and resources, perhaps even a woodland café?  We need people with vision and imagination to make this a reality!

The Covid lockdown is showing us how important green open spaces are.  The Climate Emergency must also make us think again before destroying our natural environment.  Saving this area for wildlife not warehouses absolutely fits with Labour’s Green New Deal.  The Save Weekley Hall Wood campaign has seen how much this area means to local people, and is determined to continue to fight to save it for them.  Kettering Labour is proud to be part of it.

John is the Campaign Co-ordinator for Kettering Labour. He's lived in Geddington for 30 years and is a longstanding parish councillor. He is a teacher, running his own tuition & consultancy business and is an active campaigner on LGBT issues. He is also a keen actor in the village and more widely and champions rural touring arts, regularly promoting live performances in Geddington Village Hall.

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