40th Birthday - Andy Atkins at Smithy Wood

Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director, Andy Atkins, travelled to Sheffield to help us celebrate our 40th birthday. On the morning of Thursday 16 October, Andy was joined by members of Sheffield Friends of the Earth (Shaun, Beatrice & David), local residents, CRAG, CPRE, the Woodland Trust and the Wildlife Trust for a walk around Smithy Wood, the threatened ancient woodland.

The walk highlighted what a beautiful place Smithy Wood is despite pockets of destruction caused by off road 4x4 vehicles, burnt out cars and litter. Local wildlife experts pointed out the wildlife living there from mushrooms to birds and plants.

Andy suggested that we contact RSPB (especially if there are any rare birds). Beatrice has been in contact with Sheffield University Archaeology department as it is an ancient woodland and there is evidence of bell pits showing iron workings. They suggested that we look at the site as part of a wider context of the heritage of the story of Sheffield.

We hope to save Smithy Wood from being bulldozed to make way for a motorway service station. We’d also like to see the woodland managed and the off road vehicles prevented from using it. Andy suggested that the problems with the 4x4 damage needs to be sorted as they may claim that it has been destroyed already so no longer ancient woodland.

Andy Atkins and our local group coordinator, David Roberts, gave interviews to Sheffield Live for their evening TV news bulletin. BBC Radio Sheffield’s interview with Andy was broadcast when people were leaving work around 5pm.

David got a press release in the Sheffield Star on Tuesday 21 October (see below)
Click here for the Sheffield Live video of Smithy Wood

Pictures from the morning at Smithy Wood and click here for the video: