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Ancient woodland between Dartford and Gravesend at risk from Ebbsfleet garden city claims Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust says plans for a garden city between Dartford and Gravesend could threaten 35 acres of ancient woodland.

The woods are in a triangle between Roman Road, the A2 and Bean Lane, and although small fragments, the Woodland Trust says this does not mean they are any less important.

A spokesman told the Messenger: “It’s as we gradually lose fragments like this that larger woods then start to lose corners or edges and then become fragments themselves and so it goes on, until nothing is left.”

Ebbsfleet Garden City should include existing woodland says the Woodland Trust

The two areas are currently earmarked to fall under the control of the Development Corporation. A consultation on its creation ended on Monday.

"For any garden city to live up to its name, it should not only include generous areas of new green space with woods and trees but should also seek to protect and enhance existing green space" - Nikki Williams, Woodland Trust

The board is the statutory body responsible for driving forward the creation of Ebbsfleet Garden City and its 15,000 new homes.

It also sets out the geographical area the corporation will operate, the planning powers it will be granted and who will be on its board.

The government is now reviewing the consultation and is likely to establish the corporation early next year.

Nikki Williams, head of campaigning at the Woodland Trust said it was “crucial” that the new organisation was aware of the importance of the woodlands.

She said: “For any garden city to live up to its name, it should not only include generous areas of new green space with woods and trees but should also seek to protect and enhance existing green space.

“The protection of irreplaceable habitats including ancient woodland should be a top priority.”

Concerns have also been raised by the charity about nearby Thrift Wood and Parkhill Wood.

Chancellor George Osborne on a visit to the Castle Hill housing development in Ebbsfleet

Chancellor George Osborne on a visit to the Ebbsfleet Garden City phase one site. Picture: Simon Hildrew

A spokesman added: “Our concern for these is their proximity to the boundary coupled with the statement that the Corporation may have powers to work outside the boundary where deemed necessary.

“We feel these woods are vulnerable to plans for further infrastructure such as access roads or amenities to support Ebbsfleet and would expect to see them noted and protected in a similar way to the above.”

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