Just over 4 weeks ago residents of our town found out that 61 healthy mature trees were due to be felled from the historic Wellingborough Walks starting on 20th Feb 2023, we had less than a weeks notice. Straight away many local people swung into action to raise awareness of the travesty that was about to befall our community and the historic avenue of lime trees, which is a renowned feature of our town. We were dismayed that these beautiful trees, all of which are the subject of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), were due to be felled to enable the expansion of the Tesco's roundabout on London Rd, Wellingborough.
Within days we called an urgent protest and more than a 100 people from our town came out on a cold Thursday morning to campaign to "Save Our Trees, and Save Our Walks".
Before the felling started we hoped common sense would prevail and that North Northants Council and the Developer would realise they had made a mistake and call off the felling, but that didn't happen.
Monday 20th February arrived and so did the contractors determined to fell our beloved trees, but local residents were equally determined to peacefully stop them.
For many days, despite the poor odds, committed campaigners came out in all weathers and put themselves in harms way to save these beautiful trees, resulting in 4 local residents being arrested including an 84 year town member. The second week even saw our barrister, after getting so frustrated with Police for not stopping this unlawful act, climbing one of the trees himself and staying there for over 8 hours in the freezing cold gaining national notoriety in order to highlight this appalling injustice.
After this exceptional help the Local Council (NNC) managed to broker a temporary pause in the tree felling with the Developer, but not before we had heartbreakingly lost 15 healthy trees, at least 120 years old, changing our town scape for ever.
However, the Developers are not done, they have paused to allow time to hold a community exhibition to explain their plans for the area, but have vowed to return and fell more of these beautiful trees so they can deliver it. Upwards of 25 more trees could still be lost.
Over the past couple of weeks our Town came together to save these trees, and for that time we denied the developer the 61 trees they intended to fell, and caused a pause in the work, but we now want to save these trees permanently for future generations of our community to enjoy. To do this we need everyones help.
We believe the felling of these trees is unlawful as the trees are protected by a Tree Preservation Order from 2016. But the Developer and North Northants Council have argued that the developer's work is exempt from the TPO rules and that they can fell the trees legally. We have sought legal advice and we believe the exemption the Developer is relying on does not apply and as a result the felling is unlawful and they are commiting a criminal offence.
We see that the only way we can prove this is to take the case to court and seek an injunction to permanently stop the tree felling for good! This is what we plan to do and we need your help to raise the funds to do this.
We aim to raise 12,000 to take the legal action we need to save the Wellingborough Walks Trees, will you help us?
Please donate what you can, small or large, and let's show the Developer and the Local Council that the people of our town are not prepared to stand by and see these trees and our "Walks" trashed in this appalling way, and that we are determined to SAVE THE TREES and our natural heritage for countless generations to come.Thank You.