Late this afternoon Bristol City Council's Cabinet decided unanimously to declare Grove Wood a Local Nature Reserve and to compulsory purchase it from the landowner if they cannot reach a management agreement with him on reasonable terms.
They received 105 statements in support of the proposal, including 26 from pupils from Begbrook School. There was only 1 statement against, from John Mair, Lord Jafari's "solicitor".
Among the flood of statements in favour, there were impassioned pleas from so many people about the woods, its wildlife, their enjoyment of it and the damage that has been done by the current landowner.
The statement from John Mair made serious allegations against a Council officer basically accusing him of being in the pocket of the Action Group. For the record, the Group has often been frustrated by the refusal of this officer to take action when situations have arisen in Grove Wood, which must mean he has acted in a fair and even handed way.
The Cabinet of Bristol City Council saw through the statement by John Mair and were clearly impressed with the level of support from the community. It will still be a long time before Grove Wood becomes a nature reserve, but today represents a big step towards achieving this goal.
Thank you to everyone who sent in statements - it made a big difference.
Evening Post article