Rescue Hoads Wood Petition and Letter from Bethersden Parish Council

You may be aware that Hoad’s Wood, a Site of Special Scientific Interest in Bethersden Parish Council, is currently facing a severe environmental crisis due to industrial-scale illegal waste dumping. At least 4 acres by over 12 feet deep of this vibrant woodland, cherished for its biodiversity and natural beauty, has been transformed into a wasteland, significantly impacting the local ecosystem and community well-being.  This all happened despite repeated reports by the local community since July 2023 to local authorities and the existing legal protection afforded to the site under its SSSI status.


We have recently addressed this pressing issue in a statement I presented at the most recent Bethersden Parish Council Meeting on 14 February, emphasising the urgent need for action and community support.  See attached for details.  As a result of the meeting, Bethersden PC is hosting a meeting at our request with Damian as neutral chair and Ashford BC, KCC, the Environment Agency, Natural England and Kent Police on 15 March 2024 to determine what steps are being taken for an immediate clear up and lessons learned to avoid repeats. However, it appears that none of the agencies have the budget to clear the waste they allowed to be dumped due to their inaction.  The EA has also indicated that possibility of prosecutions is remote, suggesting that the processed waste that should have been sent to landfill will not be cleared!


We have therefore launched a dedicated campaign website, Rescue Hoad’s Wood, which outlines the extent of the damage and serves as a platform for concerned individuals to sign a petition demanding immediate cleanup efforts. We believe that with the collective support of neighboring communities and councils, we can amplify our call for action and ensure that the necessary steps are taken to restore Hoad’s Wood to its natural state.  We have also posted a link to this on the NextDoor app here.


We kindly ask for your Parish Council’s support in this matter, whether it be through promoting the campaign within your community, encouraging residents to sign the petition, or any other means of support you can offer. Together, we can make a significant impact and help preserve this important natural habitat for future generations.