SMITHY WOOD: Action group battles to save woodland site

Woodland Trust protesters at Smithy Wood.
Woodland Trust protesters at Smithy Wood.
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It is an ancient woodland that contains rare and vulnerable species and has survived for hundreds of years despite threats from M1 construction, mining, electricity cables and fire.

So says Cowley Residents Action Group which has a list of objections to the service station development including:

Smithy Wood service station, artist's impression

Smithy Wood service station, artist's impression

n Need: the Department of transport says service areas should be no more than 30 minutes driving or 28 miles apart. There are 27.5 miles between Woodall services and Woolley Edge services on the M1.

n Ecology: Smithy Wood is within Sheffield’s Green Belt as well as being an ancient woodland dating back at least 800 years. It is also designated a local wildlife site, home to rare and vulnerable species.

n Economic: there is plenty of brownfield land nearby, and land with Enterprise Zone status that would provide more and better quality jobs and would not require the loss of green belt or ancient woodland.

n Environment: increased emissions will reduce the already poor air quality in the area.

n Traffic: Junction 35 is a very congested junction. The development will increase traffic.

n Mitigation: planting thousands of trees cannot replace ancient woodland and much of the new plantation would be destroyed if the HS2 route is approved.