150 PEOPLE MARCH IN SUPPORT OF STEWARD COMMUNITY WOODLAND
On 3rd April, 150 people (including lots of children & families) took part in our colourful Procession to the National Park HQ near Bovey Tracey where we delivered our petition of nearly 5,500 signatures calling on the Park to continue to allow us to live at Steward Wood and run this successful and much loved project. Also, the author of the recently published book ‘Settlements’, David Spero, presented a copy to the Park.
This beautiful book of photographs documents various low impact settlements in the UK including Steward Community Woodland (davidspero.co.uk).
The weather for the Procession was ideal, sunny & warm, and it was lead by a banner reading ‘Save Steward Wood’ with another saying ‘Support Low Impact Homes’. There was a willow sculpture of a Leaping Deer carried on two people’s shoulders along with lots of willow butterflies. Although we were taking a serious message to the Park, there was a carnival atmosphere, which created a sense of celebration, community and solidarity. This is, after all, what we wish to see more of in this world.
Outside the Park HQ, a delegation of us met with James McInnes, Chairman of the Development Management Committee, who received the petition and the book ‘Settlements’ while our supporters watched and the media took photographs. We then had a picnic in the grounds with storytelling and singing.
We are now seeking to negotiate with the National Park to see where we can move forward at this time. We’d like to find a win-win solution which both the Authority and ourselves can be happy with.
We’ve let go of the project as formulated for the 2016 Public Inquiry, and are in the process of downsizing and reconfiguring the project. We now have a window of opportunity before the Enforcement Notices take effect in December.