Pressmennan wood North is a 10-hectare ancient forest. It is a remnant of the native woodland which once covered the whole country. It has been evolving for 13000 years. In 1995, its owners were approached by timber company A & J Scott, who offered them £30000 to fell its trees. Had a local campaign group not formed to protect it, Pressmennan wood North would no longer exist as an ancient forest. The campaign was not entirely successful since eventually, 200 of Pressmennans trees were felled. Pressmennan is such a beautiful wood that it is perfect to use to set a precedent to facilitate the protection of other similar native forests, so a new campaign Ė Justice for Pressmennan Ė has been initiated. Justice for Pressmennan focuses on the police and calls for the charging of all the criminals involved in felling the trees, for breaking international conservation laws listed in the Habitats Directive.
Britain has less native forests left than any other country in Europe. About 0.75% of what we once had remains. Due to this shocking figure, an urgent habitat action plan was drafted for upland oak woods which are described in the Habitats Directive as being in "danger of disappearance". The Costed Habitat Action Plan (CHAP) requires woods such as Pressmennan to be managed on a "MINIMUM INTERVENTION" basis. I.e. No unnecessary felling. In the original Pressmennan campaign, a conservation management strategy was written by environmentally aware foresters and conservationists. It ensured the regeneration of the wood, and didnít require the felling of a single tree. The conservation strategy was supported by 6 local community associations. The Habitats Directive also states that the views of local communities should be considered.
Bats are a protected species in the Habitats Directive. You are not allowed to disturb or endanger their habitat. Pressmennan is a roosting site for Daubenton and Pipistrelle bats.
If the police donít respond to Justice for Pressmennans report, there will be a demonstration at St. Leanords police station at 6pm on the 21st of March. Petitions requesting the arrest of named individuals implicated in the crimes will be handed in.
Every ancient wood is important for conservation, being a "core for conserving biodiversity" and the mothers of all habitats. All Ancient semi-natural woods should be given Special Area of Conservation (SAC) status, so they can only be managed for conservation and therefore no longer be viewed as cash crops.