New picture show displays Eastleigh locals’ love for Stoke Park countryside

Rob Byrne, 11 January 2017: Thanks to many local families sending in their photographs of our Stoke Park countryside, Rob Byrne has compiled a wonderful ‘picture show’ ‎depicting our love of these ancients woodlands and fields and the happiness and tranquility we gain from being in them.

As Eastleigh Borough Council enters the final few months of its Local Plan deliberations (we expect a decision in March/April), we urge councillors not to choose their proposals for 6,000+ new houses and a major new road north of Bishopstoke and Fair Oak (so-called options B and C), which would cut a swathe through this magnificent countryside.

Indeed, we should stress that whilst EBC claims its plans ‘save’ the woodlands per se, the proposed development on the inter-woodland fields would – as night follows day – seriously degrade them (eventually turning them into wildlife sterile areas ripe for later development).

As Rob Byrne says: “Councillors do not understand that they will destroy ancient woodland and the rare flora and fauna that live in the fields, hedgerows and water courses between the various woods and copses if these habitats are segmented by roads and housing… It is not enough to leave isolated areas of woodland to be cut off and strangled.  One wood isolated from another no more makes an ancient woodland than one councillor makes a council.”

In their messages to Rob, residents from across the borough and neighbouring areas variously described their time on the bridleways and footpaths of this countryside as “our escape”, “a link with our history”, “our time to relax with nature”, “our green lung”, and “our recreation space”.

Amazingly, it seems some people are still unaware of the council’s proposals on these inter-woodland fields, so – if you care for this part of the world – please do make everyone you know aware of EBC’s dastardly scheme.

We will only be able to fight these proposals successfully if we do so together.

To view Rob Byrne’s picture show, click here.