25th June 2003

Historic Woodland Faces Destruction

Joint Release by Woodland Trust and Stop Stansted Expansion
If proposals to expand Stansted Airport in Essex are accepted, countryside that has inspired poets, painters and visitors for centuries will be destroyed1. Terry Waite will lead campaigners at a Stop Stansted Expansion event on Sunday 29th June, 2003. The Woodland Trust, the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity, is supporting the event – “Vanishing Villages at Broxted Open Gardens”.

The Trust opposes any threats to our ancient woodland. At Stansted, proposed expansion could destroy 86 hectares of Essex’s irreplaceable woodland heritage2. Philipland Wood, Round Coppice, Eastend Wood, Runnels Hay, and High Wood all ancient woods would be cleared to make way for runways, terminals and other development. The loss of these sites is irreversible.

Expansion would also damage a further 100 hectares of ancient woodland3. Hatfield Forest, an internationally important ancient wood, “may get soaked with short bursts of nitrous acid whenever planes take off in heavy drizzle”, says respected woodland historian Oliver Rackham4. And the increased urbanisation required to house airport support staff would turn this beautiful corner of England into just another piece of urban sprawl.

The event comes on the last day before the end of the government’s consultation on the future development of air transport in the UK. Ed Pomfret of the Woodland Trust will be present at the event and available for interview. There will be a press conference at 11am at the Prince of Wales pub in Broxted. The main event opens at noon at Oakmeads, a short walk from the pub.


Campaigning to ensure Stansted Airport's authorised operations stay below harmful limits