Thornbury woodland site fenced off as fight is stepped up

January 01 2020
Thornbury woodland site fenced off as fight is stepped up

CAMPAIGNERS who want to save Vilner Lane Wood in Thornbury from development are stepping up their fight to save it.

Now established as the Woodland Action Group, they will be out gathering signatures on their petition to preserve the woods on January 18 at the St Mary Centre, Thornbury Leisure Centre, Thornbury Tesco and at the wood's composting site.

The call for more support comes as the composting site at the wood has been fenced off, after running out of money to keep it going.

The campaigners aim to gather as many signatures as possible from residents to present to a meeting of South Gloucestershire Council in February. People can also find the petition on the council's website, where it had attracted more than 340 signatures as the Voice went to press.

The small woodland is situated next to the footpath that runs between Tesco and the community composting site. It is a haven for wildlife, connecting town gardens to open countryside.

Plans to build a care home there were approved five years ago and recently a developer has shown an interest.

Council cabinet member for corporate resources Ben Burton has agreed to reconsider the original decision, to ensure it is still in the best interests of the community and the environment.

The Woodland Action Group believes that the climate emergency must take priority and that another care home is no longer needed in the town.

The community composting site has been fenced off for the winter due to lack of funding, as the amount of garden waste needs to be reduced until its future is certain.

Thornbury Composting Group chairman Brett Harrison said: “The reasons we have run out of money are a combination of more and more waste, from mainly contractors, and less in the way of donations, particularly grant aid.

"South Glos have done their best but they are also facing more and more competition for a reducing pot.

"We hope to be able to get back to something like normal activity in the new financial year, while keeping control over access to the site.”

Brett has asked that anyone concerned over the future of the site should write to their South Gloucestershire councillor. The composing site is continuing to process wood for sale, which is available on Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons.

The petition can be found at bit.ly/2RXSpoc.