Protect Marlhill Copse

Economics (2015):

£206 m - the annual contribution of urban woodland to the UK economy (National Office of statistics) - not including CO2 uptake;

£161 m - the annual contribution of Southampton airport to the UK economy (Steer Davies Gleave for SIAL ) - not including CO2 production.

  • The 797th Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Peter Baillie, accepted an invitation to tour Marlhill Copse on 31st May and saw for himself some of the trees that are under threat from the airport. It was a great opportunity to show him the strength of feeling there is about the need to protect these trees and thank him for his kind support. [Photos]. I discovered that the Mayor had already signed the petition himself!

Marlhill Copse is a beautiful woodland just off Riverside Park in Southampton. It is under threat from Southampton airport who bought it in 2018 in order to reduce the height of 219 trees that it alleged were a threat to air safety. Some of these trees will be completely chopped down (around 20 large old pines) whilst others will be severely crown-reduced (93 by more than 10 metres [Photos]). These plans have been approved by Southampton City Council despite the trees having Tree Protection Orders and being in a conservation area. It has become apparent that the trees are not a threat to air safety but an obstacle to the expansion of Southampton airport because the trees get in the way of the reduced take off angle required for heavier and more laden planes.

Just before the works were due to start on 1st April my lawyer, Richard Buxton solicitors in Cambridge - specialising in Environmental Planning and Public Law, succeeded in getting a temporary injunction against the Council's decision which means that tree works were forbidden. Lawyers from the City Council and airport succeeded in getting this reversed at beginning of June [Background to the campaign]. These trees are therefore no longer protected by the law. Other ways now need to be found to protect them [Events].

The pages on this site contain: links to the history [History; Jekyll & Hyde] of Marlhill Copse which includes a possible Saxon canal; details of the campaign to date [Background to the campaign] and in the future [Petition]; maps - including one from 1791 [Maps]; thoughts on airport expansion and its further effects on the environment [Airport expansion].

Please visit Marlhill Copse and enjoy its delights and mysteries - when you still can. Details of walks and diversions are being added [Google Earth].

Gareth Narbed [last updated 21 June 2019]