After six weeks of successfully protecting Stapleton Allotments in the Avon & Frome Valley Conservation Area from destruction, Rising Up activists and campaigners are now seriously concerned about the wellbeing of the land and wildlife no longer under their watchful eye.
Yesterday at around 6pm the last of the tree protectors were brought down from the trees to applause, cheers and tears from emotional supporters. The 4 day complex and drawn out eviction demonstrated the persistence and ingenuity of the activists as well as their resolve to protect this land for as long as possible. It was also a display of the strength of their conviction that the destruction of the land and trees for the M32 MetroBus road is wholly unjustified and totally unnecessary.
The eviction, although generally peaceful, was marred by some instances of aggression and assaults on activists, mainly by security. These have been logged and will be reported to the Council in an official complaint.
Rising Up utterly condemn the mindless damage to the wildlife habitat during the eviction including bulldozers crashing through woodland copse and bramble, and scrub – all prime wildlife habitats, has been no evidence of surveys or techniques, which would mitigate and lessen the impact on reptiles, bats and birds in this wildlife rich Conservation Area.
Today Rising Up submitted a statement to Bristol City Council Officials, including the Mayor, for the Full Council meeting this Tuesday. The statement demands the immediate cessation of works at Stapleton allotments until a) the funding for the route is secured b) The planning and development conditions and full consents have been clarified as well met to ensure no breach of planning regulations. c) There is clear evidence and assurance of that any works carried out will be done so under environmental management plans, adhering to legislation and planning control. Thus mitigating the impact on wildlife and their habitat, which so far there has been no evidence of.
We would like to express our gratitude to the many people who have supported and taken part in this direct action, without whom this would not have been possible. We would like to reassure people that although we are no longer in occupation, we remain committed to our aims; to protect the land at Stapleton allotments, to stop the MetroBus road and to challenge the flawed decisions and processes that have allowed this development to take place. We will also continue to raise awareness of the important issues of food security, land, community and earth rights.
This is not the end of this story by any means – just the next chapter, we will continue Rising Up…watch this space!