Save our Precious Maples - We Need to Breathe

by Save the M32 Maples in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 23rd March 2020 we successfully raised £941 with 57 supporters in 42 days

Bristol City Council declared a Climate Emergency and promised to double tree cover by 2050. We want to save existing mature trees as well.

by Save the M32 Maples in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

Save the M32 Maples

Our trees need your help

Money doesn't grow on trees which is why our campaigning group needs you to contribute so we can help Bristol City Council put its foot down and stop the felling of the remaining trees on the site. We want them to take our unique creative Bristolian solutions to heart. The Maples and all of us at Save the M32 Maples thank you in advance for every pound donated. 

Our critical deadline is Monday 17th February as the developers have been given permission to fell the 3 remaining trees on that day after the demolition of the existing building. We believe this permission is based on erroneous planning documentation; to stop this happening we need your help with: 

  • legal advice - we already have a lawyer on the case but may need to step up our legal action according to her findings 
  • top notch press and online publicity - we have been using a DIY approach to date
  • political lobbying - local politicians have been slow to act on this issue so far 
  • travel/research costs - volunteers are paying out of their own pockets for the resources needed to save the trees. So far we’ve spent hundreds of pounds already on travel costs, materials, and research documents 

Some Background

Ours is a peaceful, legal protest. We have learned through thorough investigation of the developer's planning applications that it is the landowner who is running roughshod over the law and regulations. 

Since the summer of 2019 they have been intent on removing the mature maple trees on the site  - to date they have removed 2 despite our attempts to protect them. 

At the end of December two of our female protesters chained themselves to the trees to stop the  ‘cowboy workers’ in Bristol’s Wild West felling the remaining three maples.  We feel justified in referring to them as such as they were completely unprotected by any health and safety protocols (as you can see in the video) while carrying out their dastardly deed. Roof tiles from the nearby demolition were thrown at these brave souls, by the workers, in response to their stand. To our campaigners credit the three proud remaining maples still stand.

Since then it’s been a 24-hour-a-day Tree Watch by ever vigilant locals and residents of Bristol ever since. All this has this attracted vital national and local  media and police attention. In January the Guardian came to the site to cover the story and in early February our cause was covered by Radio 4's PM news programme.  

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees visiting the site at the New Year vigil

We simply need to ramp it up now, add to do this we need your donations.

Gratitude

Thank you for all your help so far, especially the Environmental Law FoundationLawyers for Nature; The Bristol Tree Forum and everyone who has rocked up at the crack of dawn to light a fire for the trees; those that have signed our petition; showed up for our weekly meetings; helped to create a healthy Facebook presence (currently with 600 Likes); stood vigil in the heavy traffic for hours at a time - which has exacted a cost for many who’ve experienced chest infections and feeling generally unwell as a result. This has only highlighted how much of a pollution pocket this road is with its proximity to the M32 and how much we need the trees to help mitigate at least some of the levels of pollution in the area.

More information from the Bristol Tree Forum Blog

"It is a false choice to say that we can either have social housing or trees. 

Although the 2015/16 planning approval that is being used to justify removal of the trees was for student accommodation, the current proposal, still under consideration, is for social housing that Bristol desperately needs.  We are surprised that, despite this new undecided application, the developer is still able to undertake work under the old approved application which they no longer intend to pursue.  Shouldn’t the slate be wiped clean so we have a chance to revisit the whole plan with the trees still in place rather than be forced to decide without them?"

Our Group's Alternative plan from White Designsfrom White Designs

Ariel view of the site before the massacre

#savethem32maples

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