The Leather Lane Conservation Group (LLCG) are celebrating the passage of a year since the local community successfully registered an ancient tree called Ilona to the Woodland Trust Ancient Tree Inventory.
On October 29, residents and councillors from Amersham, Great Missenden and surrounding parishes expressed their gratitude that the iconic ancient oak tree still stands proud, despite ongoing environmental destruction wrought by the HS2 project.
Over the past year, the conservation group have actively turned to a number of related campaigns: namely, keeping each of HS2’s contractors up to date with Ilona’s significance; and continuing to advocate for the safety of a long line of oaks along Leather Lane plus the bats and wildlife native to the area.
The conservation group successfully raised over £30 000 to pay a consultant engineer to design an overbridge to the north of Leather Lane rather than the south, avoiding the felling of 87 trees. Having amassed over 43, 000 signatures on a petition to save these magnificent oaks, the group has ensured that the area can continue to provide foraging habitat and connectivity for bats and other endangered wildlife.
More recently, LLCG presented HS2 with their proposals for a green bridge at Leather Lane to mitigate the damage caused by the removal of oak trees for a haul road and train track. This proposal has garnered support from the Woodland Trust and other interested parties.
LLCG also hosts monthly bat walks for residents during bat season in order to raise awareness of local ecology. The group plans to set up a BATSAC, a special area of conservation for bats, to protect the biodiversity of the ancient Holloway for generations to come.
Photo Credit: Leather Lane Conservation Group