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SALFORD PEAT PROTEST
 

Star date: 15th April 2010
12noon - Live from Chat Moss!!!

`HEY YOU! LEAVE OUR BOG ALONE!!!'

Campaigners from Earth First! have stopped peat extraction work at Peel Holdings site on Chat Moss by chaining themselves to machinery.

We've just spoken live by phone to Justin Hocks who ten minutes ago chained himself to a digger at the site…

"We've been here about ten minutes and right now one of the workers has got into the digger and is trying to move it which is putting my safety in jeopardy" he said "They have been quite threatening and I understand that the police are on their way but we'll stay here as long as we can to stop the destruction of the peat bog…"

Another colleague has chained himself to a lorry on the site, while other protestors are also trying to stop peat removal. The direct action by Earth First comes as a direct response to the lack of environmental guts by Salford City Council which has stood by and allowed the destruction of one of the top rated sites of biodiversity in the North West….

More details here…


Chat Moss Protest
click image to enlarge

For the past three years the Salford Star has been trying to draw attention to peat bog destruction on Peel Holdings owned land on Chat Moss. Now Earth First! has taken direct action to physically try and stop the extraction by occupying the site today…

Peat bogs have recently become the focus of international attention
because they act as huge 'carbon sponges': as peat is formed it locks away
carbon that has been absorbed by plants as they grow, thereby helping to
reduce the carbon in the atmosphere and slow global warming. The draining
and extraction of this unique habitat causes the release of thousands of
years worth of stored carbon. Globally, peat bogs cover just 3% of the
world's surface but store twice as much carbon as all the world's forests
combined.

The greatest threat to peat bogs is from peat extraction for use in
horticulture.  An area the size of 250 Trafalgar Squares is dug up every
year for the UK horticultural industry, with 70% of this demand coming
from amateur gardeners.  This is despite the fact that there are a wide
variety of good quality peat-free commercial composts, meaning that there
is no need for the UK to consume any peat at all.  The Royal Botanic
Gardens at Kew, for instance, has been peat free since 1992.

Local campaigner Mary Chapel, says:

"We are stopping the destruction of Chat Moss bog to protect this site for
the benefit of present and future generations.  Peat bogs harbour a wide
variety of birds, plants and animals that can be found nowhere else.
Instead of protecting this valuable habitat Sinclair's / Joseph Metcalfe
are vandalising it in order to make a profit when there are countless
alternatives to peat for use in compost, as well as more sustainable jobs
in those industries."

Justin Hocks adds:

"The Council tell us they are serious about climate change and the environment yet allow valuable sites like Chat Moss to be bulldozed. They say they will protect the Green Belt but it's all just hot air. We have come here today in solidarity with the local Save Our Greenbelt campaign, and to protect this valuable habitat and to say enough is enough - leave our bog alone!"

Read Earth First! hand account of the protest here...

See the original Salford Star story here...

brianfkirkham wrote
at 06:30:38 on 28 April 2010
Sadly its a poor state of affairs when a London-Cheshire based magnate owns the majority of land in our vicinity. If Peel had any real warmth towards Salford's populous, this desecration of the greenland in salford would not have gone ahead. Of course, a walk on the quays (another peel holdings site) would have further illustrated Peel's commitment to the environment, trees planted to line the centenary walkway were given a very extreme pruning in the last few weeks, they now resemble thick twigs with roots. Where is the social responsibility here ? Or is it Economics / Profits Rule all the way?
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 12:58:28 on 18 April 2010
Just another example of our great democracy in action. A large company decides what it wants & our elected representatives acquiesce without a thought for the protestations of the people who voted for them. Mobilise now, get this stinking, venal bunch out next month.
 
Joan Disley wrote
at 20:44:29 on 17 April 2010
When will people reaslise that if we continue to kill the earth we will all die, and this is just the start, we have to have balance, and Peel Holdings don't know the meaning of the word, they think they can ride roughshod over anyone that doesn't agree with them, we are already a built up area, what little space we have, be it mossland, bogs meadows or woodland we need to keep, we need it all in balance!
 
Pauline Greenhalgh wrote
at 20:44:17 on 17 April 2010
Over the years I have become sick and tired of hearing about Peel Holdings: of hearing about their greedy dirty little fingers - bent on the destruction of any and all natural land - bulldozersRus should be their epitah and when they have concreted over the last blade of grass in the so-called 'industrial waste-land' of the northwest you had better watch out when they cast avaricious eyes over your county and begin its destruction . . . As for councils protecting land for future generations and being concerned about the environment . . . that's just fairy stories for adults - somewhat similar to politicians equally empty sentiments and promises being bandied about at the moment .......
 
Dave Wilson wrote
at 20:18:10 on 16 April 2010
I am unfamiliar with the patch of mossland in question (Barton Moss), but had the misfortune to witness the destruction of the mossland between Rindle Road at Astley and Botany Bay wood. Once the breeding haunt of Nightjar, Turtle Dove, Tree Pipit, Curlew and Whinchat, the site had no equal in terms of the ornithological importance of lowland mosses in the North West, and its outstanding flora made it almost unique locally. Unfortunately, the wildlife interest played second fiddle to commercial exploitation and its obliteration was complete a few years ago. If the interested reader wishes to view the aftermath of full-scale peat extraction he/she needs only to visit the moonscape at Astley, and every single member of a council which condones environmental damage on our remaining mosses needs to hang his/her head in shame. As guardians of our natural heritage they are failures who deserve the utmost contempt.
 
Eddie wrote
at 22:19:51 on 15 April 2010
Well done "Earth First". If peat was being extracted like this on the Peak District, someone would be in serious trouble. But what the heck, "its only scruffy old Salford so who cares",,,,,, that's what the council think of our City..... Its a disgrace, what ever Peel Holdings want, Peel Holdings get. SOLD by Salford City Council.
 
Bob wrote
at 14:23:29 on 15 April 2010
Good stuff, save the environment from big business!
 
David Henry wrote
at 13:18:31 on 15 April 2010
Brilliant! Earth First! right here IN SALFORD!! This action just goes to show how serious the campaign has become. If I had anyway of getting down to Barton Moss quickly I'd be there again to show my solidarity. Sometime direct action by the community is the only option we are left with.
 
dominic wrote
at 13:18:24 on 15 April 2010
Great Journalism, better than watching it on the telly....
 
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