At Pressmennan, near Stenton in East Lothian, around 60 trees were felled in Spring 1999 and on Tuesday 9th of November felling began again at Pressmennan, at east end of the loch. Many of trees due for felling have now been felled, but it seems well short of 369 that they had permission to fell.
There is an urgent need to protect our remaining ancient woodland from commercial felling plans. If due to public pressure, the landowners don't get away with clearing the site when the contractors first arrive, they simply return year after year taking a percentage until all the native trees are gone. The forestry authority actively encourage these activities by providing grants for the cutting of broad leaves in areas of woodland which should be protected for conservation. The sustainable scam has to exposed, they dress up deforestation as treatment when there is no excuse to fell anything other than rhododendron in these remaining patches of our main natural habitat.
For many years these oaks have managed just fine on their own and interference simply weakens the structure of the forest while depleting it. The plan is still in breach of the Forestry Commission's own guidelines and breaks new laws which are supposed to protect bats, narcissus and protected habitats.
Oak woods like Pressmennan must be managed on a minimum intervention basis according to the habitats directive since they are seen as being in danger of disappearing. The average size of these patches of wildwood is only 6 Hectares, 60% of these exist on privately owned land.
If you want to get involved or for further information please email.
Also one can put pressure on A J Scott who are processing the timber. They are at Station Sawmills, Wooperton, Nr Woolen, Northumberland
Or if you want to write to the elected represenative who oversees forestry; ask for Pressmenan to be made a Special Area of Conservation (SAC):
Ross Finnie MSP
Scottish Exec. Rural Affairs Department
49 Robbs Loan
If you want to visit Pressmenan
coming from Edinburgh on the A1, at the East End of the East Linton byepass, turn right at the sign which says:
Continue on that road without deviating off it for 2.5 miles. You will arrive at a T junction Turn for Stenton. On entering Stenton, the first building on the right is the school. Turn hard right around the school and continue along that road for 0.9 of mile. You will arrive at a farm called Ruchlaw West Mains. Continue up the road past this farm for 200 yards, and left along the rough track at the top of the brae. Woodend is 200 yards along this track on the left. NT 627730
If anyone wants a copy of the Strategy for Conservation of Pressmennan Wood North (May 1996), for copying and postage cost, then get in touch. This document gives a detailed description of the wood, and critiques the felling plans for it.
by Marina Findlay
(ISBN 0 9535050 0 6)
Published summer 1999, this book covers the 3 years of work which has gone into the Pressmennan campaign. It exposes how the bureaucratic process was rigged against groups opposing the felling. It also goes into great depth discussing the management and importance of ancient woods whilst focusing on their use in alchemy. Some of the information is in the form of poems while previously printed articles are included followed by letters, flyers and long essays which finish off the work. It costs five pounds where sold or Marina.
Pressmannan's WAND article from Do or Die (Earth First Journal) no 7. (No 8 and 9 now out)
The photo on the cover of the book is of a clear felled ancient wood clear felled by A&J Scott in East Lothian: Oswall Dean, Brandfmill (Brands Mill). Note postal address given in book is no longer valid.