Sevenoaks Town Council seeks Community Support for Purchase of Longspring Woods and Launches Pledge Campaign with Video.

 

Longspring woods 2Cllr Tony Clayton, Leader of STC, Cllr Claire Shea Mayor of Sevenoaks, Cllr Dr Marilyn Canet Chair of Open Spaces & Leisure Committee, Cllr Chloe Gustard Kippington Ward Councillor.Longspring wood is 14 acres of ancient woodland at the top of Sevenoaks. It overlooks the town with brilliant views over to the North Downs. It has old oak and beech trees and traditional chestnut coppice sheltering wild animals, birds, and insects and a woodland for at least 400 years. It is connected to Sevenoaks Common by old footpaths and ancient trackways leading from the town out into the open countryside beyond Sevenoaks By-pass.

Sevenoaks Town Council had previously registered Longspring Woods as an Asset of Community Value and this now gives them an opportunity to acquire an asset for the people of Sevenoaks to enjoy for generations to come. The woods are up for sale and the Town Council has a short timescale to progress with a purchase and provide long term protection for this woodland and bring into community use.

It is believed by linking with Sevenoaks Common we can extend walking and cycling routes and trails around the town. The land could be better used to increase biodiversity and protect the landscape in this area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Sevenoaks Town Council has progressed with a Feasibility Study (to include details re conservation, access, educational use, and coppicing) which will be discussed at its Town Council meeting on 26th February 2024.

Cllr Tony Clayton, Leader of Sevenoaks Town Council and Chair of Finance & General Purposes Committee said:

Town Councillors believe this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire a really attractive piece of woodland to add to our Common and protect it for future generations. Sevenoaks Town Council only has income from Sevenoaks Residents and from Developer Levies on new development in the town. We’ve got an ambitious Capital Program to improve the town to which most of our existing money is committed. But we have built up a fund of about £100,000 devoted to acquiring and improving green spaces in the town. To buy Longspring wood will require another £100,000. We don’t have time to apply for any official grants. That’s why we are asking Sevenoaks Residents to help us make this happen.

 

Many of Sevenoaks green spaces were given to the town by local people over the last three centuries, that includes the Vine, Hollybush Recreational Ground, Kippington Meadow, the Allotments and the Upper High Street gardens. The public and local businesses are being asked to join this long tradition by helping to buy Longspring Wood for the town, to protect its natural beauty and wildlife for future generations by completing the Pledge Form* by 23rd February.

Sevenoaks Town Council need pledges, but Help in Kind is welcome too. The Town Council are grateful to Warners Solicitors who have offered to provide conveyance free of charge and Benedict Bannister for producing the information video.

If you would like to know more, do contact us at the Town Council.

*Paper copies of the pledge form are also available via the Town Council Offices, Bradbourne Vale Road, TN13 3QG.

Linda Larter MBE
Chief Executive / Town Clerk
29th January 2024

townclerk@sevenoakstown.gov.uk

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