Members of Stop Stansted Expansion and Woodland Trust spruce up airport wood

PUBLISHED: 13:00 16 October 2009 | UPDATED: 07:24 30 May 2010

Kaye Brennan from the Woodland trust helped to clear the SSE wood on Sunday Picture: SUBMITTED

Kaye Brennan from the Woodland trust helped to clear the SSE wood on Sunday Picture: SUBMITTED

A WOOD has been spruced up ahead of the winter months thanks to volunteers from the Stop Stansted Expansion group and the Woodland Trust. On Sunday a green-fingered army descended on Broxted Hill, near to Stansted Airport, to take part in a clean-up opera

A WOOD has been spruced up ahead of the winter months thanks to volunteers from the Stop Stansted Expansion group and the Woodland Trust.

On Sunday a green-fingered army descended on Broxted Hill, near to Stansted Airport, to take part in a clean-up operation at the aptly named SSE wood.

Equipped with tools ranging from strimmers to secateurs, a team of over 20 people cleared a sea of grass and weeds across the woodland floor to ensure that the trees continue to thrive during next year's growing season.

SSE's campaign director, Carol Barbone, said: "It was marvellous to see how well established the wood is now and how the trees have grown. The symbolism certainly wasn't lost on any of those who gave up their Sunday afternoon to take part.

"We also appreciated the involvement of the Woodland Trust which has been such a close ally in highlighting the threat to ancient woodland arising from BAA's expansion plans for Stansted."

The wood was planted in 2004 and has become a symbol of the SSE supporters' determination that a second runway expansion plan should never go ahead despite airport owner BAA indicating that demand for air travel will steadily rise and a new runway at Stansted will be needed to satisfy the country's requirements.

The trees, all native species, were sponsored by 700 supporters who have helped to plant and later tend the wood over the last five years. In that time the saplings have developed considerably with a very low loss rate, with the inaugural oak planted by SSE Patron Terry Waite CBE now almost 20 feet tall.

WHAT do you think of the Stansted second runway plans? E-mail us at editor@dunmow-broadcast.co.uk or call us on 01799 512882.

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