The Protection of Isolation

We can all visit Dogloitch and Dum Woods whenever we want to.  

They have been a haven to many, particularly during the last year.  Easily accessible from Chidswell, Kirkhamgate, West Ardsley and Gawthorpe but it takes a little effort to get there!  

The current location gives a feel of escaping the hustle-and-bustle, yet it’s only a stroll from so many of our homes.

It gives a perfect combination of unspoilt nature; yet it’s almost on our doorsteps.

A walk to our Ancient Woodland allows us a chance to exercise across open countryside using the network of footpaths –with the reward of a stroll around the woods, seeing wildlife with our own eyes.  Walks with our children: observing nature in action, watching the squirrels scurry round the woods and taking in the birdsong.  

If you’re lucky, you may even catch sight of one of the Great Spotted Woodpeckers that inhabit both woods.  

The change of environment on the walk into the woods is immediate as you enter an area unchanged for centuries.

The 2 woods are currently of excellent quality and in a healthy state.  Native trees, dominated by oak, with ground cover, saplings, mid-layer mature and deadwood cover; perfectly regenerating and a haven for wildlife and humans alike. 

The woods are in this condition because of the effort it takes to reach them.  Only those who appreciate the beauty take the effort to get there.  With the proposed development bordering them the impacts of thousands of houses and industrial units will be significant, negative and possibly irreversible.

Likely impacts on the woods if the development progresses as planned are:

  • Increased activity from humans and their pets resulting in disturbance to breeding birds
  • Predation from house-hold pets on the birds and mammals that inhabit the woods
  • Vegetation damage
  • Trampling
  • Litter / Fly Tipping
  • Fire Damage
  • Noise, light and dust pollution
  • Felling
  • Introduction of non-native invasive plant species
  • Contamination/pollution from pesticides, weed-killers and detergents

The development will carve through the natural thoroughfares of fields, hedgerows and waterways that connect with the woods.  

Pollution from the housing and industrial sites will affect the currently crystal-clear streams.  Natural drainage from Chidswell to Dogloitch will be impeded by huge swathes of concrete.  Natural drainage lost forever causing a risk of flooding and permanent drying of the woodland floor.

A slow but irreversible death of the woods.

The impact on our 2 Ancient Woodlands goes further than immediately impacting on our wildlife’s habitat.  

The bigger picture involves their influence on drainage, absorbing Co2 emissions and ultimately playing a part in reversing climate change.

The 2 Ancient Woodlands are both designated Local Wildlife Sites (LWS) and part of the Kirklees Wildlife Habitat Network. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust states: “The presence of a LWS should always serve as a red flag that the application is highly likely to be damaging and alternative sites should be sought.

 Our Ancient Woodlands are precious and must be protected for our wildlife and for future generations. They have existed for more than 400 years – our generation should not be responsible for overseeing their destruction.

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