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Local residents are fighting to save their woodland – and they have just received a fantastic boost in support.
Dr Tony Juniper, recognised ecologist, environmental leader, author and campaigner, has this afternoon announced that he is joining the Save Southwark Woods campaign.
"For too long, we've been blinded by the myth that Nature is a ‘nice to have’ and that looking after green spaces is an inconvenience that gets in the way of progress and development.
"The threat to Southwark Woods is a recent case in point. This little oasis for wildlife is facing destruction because it is believed the area can be used for a better purpose.
"It is only possible to take this view, however, if the multiple benefits provided to society by places like this are ignored.”
Dr Juniper highlighted the beneficial impact of access to natural spaces on people’s mental and physical health, as well as on the health of the city, and its value:
“We know that areas rich in wildlife are really good for people's wellbeing, they tie up carbon, trees help to cut pollution (which in London leads to thousands of premature deaths each year) and are helping to recharge groundwater. All of that is worth a great deal, including in pure economic terms, and especially in densely populated urban areas.”
Nature can be a powerful ally to city dwellers and councils alike, something which the London Borough of Southwark ignores at its own and its residents’ cost:
“The more we sanitise our cities and replace wilder areas with manicured and tarmac landscapes, the more we diminish the huge practical values that wilder areas bring. Instead of replacing this wonderful amenity Councillors should instead focus on the interests of the people they represent and invest in the enhancement of Southwark Woods, not to promote its destruction".
Dr Tony Juniper is a recognised writer, sustainability advisor and author of 'What Nature does for Britain'. He joins GLA Green Group Leader Jenny Jones and others to support the campaign.
Camberwell Old Cemetery woods by Save Southwark Woods
Tony Juniper joins Save Southwark Woods campaign
15th February 2015