Oaken Wood is a beautiful ancient woodland in Barming, Kent
Why help save Oaken Wood?
Well, there are a number of good reasons to help us to save Oaken Wood - a delightful, peaceful woodland close to Maidstone in the village of Barming.
We've mentioned a few here - and we're always keen to hear more...
Wildlife in Oaken Wood
Gallagher insists that Oaken Wood's Chestnut coppice 'does not provide a particularly valued habitat for wildlife' - an opinion you may question if you read the report they commissioned from Kent Wildlife Trust, according to The Guardian:
"A report by Kent Wildlife Trust on behalf the of developers shows that the area affected is currently:
- of local importance to badgers, because of lack of suitable habitat elsewhere"
They go on to mention:
"at least six different bat species; 37 bird species (36 breeding in the area); dormice; lizards, slow worms and grass snakes; 506 invertebrate species; Some ancient woodland (though mostly chestnut coppice)"
You can read the surveys by clicking on Badger | Bat | Hazel dormouse | Breeding bird | Pipit and Nightjar | Reptile | Amphibian
The age and value of Oaken Wood
At the public meeting in Barming, Gallagher focussed on the age of the wood, and the type of trees (mostly chestnut coppice) to define its value.
Gallagher say that they 'understood the coppice to have been planted in Victorian times replacing a more ancient woodland' [Source: Gallagher] but The Woodland Trust say 'It’s an ancient semi-natural habitat' [Source: The Woodland Trust] - and we imagine that they would have a good knowledge of woods...
Impact on homes and residents from quarry blasting vibration, dust and noise at Hermitage Quarry
Gallagher state that in the consideration of other sites 'Some were discounted because of their proximity to, and impact on, residential properties.'
This is difficult for many local residents to hear.
Many claim that they feel the vibrations from the blasting and are disturbed by the noise, furthermore some fear that it is damaging their houses.
There is evidence of "what is likely to be a late prehistoric or Roman enclosure" [source: the Green Party from Archeological Study]
The Green Party believe "it is entirely possible that archaeological remains associated with the monument structure are present but the Impact Assessment has made no effort to discover presence or absence".
You can help us to try to Save Oaken Wood. Please do.
It's easy to assume that someone else will write to the planning officer at Kent County Council to object to the planning application; but each of us has the power (to try) to influence this decision - and we have greater strength in numbers.
The panel on the left encourages you to take action - the next page makes some recommendations on the best way to act to Save Oaken Wood.
Please feel free to share our site with others who may find it useful...