Campaigners scatter remains of oak tree outside Senedd in protest against cancer centre development
Campaigners have scattered the remains of an ancient oak tree outside the Senedd in protest against the development of the new Velindre Cancer Centre.
The tree was felled by developers from the Forest Farm nature reserve in Cardiff last week and campaigners from Save the Northern Meadows gathered up the remaining wood chipping to lay outside the Senedd on Sunday.
The Welsh Government is currently in talks with contractors to deliver the new clinically disputed Velindre Cancer Centre which has proven considerably controversial amongst environmentalists, medical practitioners, and local people.
Save the Northern Meadows said the protest was a “symbolic sharing” with the Senedd to highlight that “nature is being failed in Wales”.
In a video posted online, the campaigners called on Minster for Climate Change, Julie James and Deputy Minster for Climate Change, Lee Waters, to stop the construction of a new Velindre Cancer Centre which is being built on the Northern Meadows site and could see 1000 trees felled.
A Save the Northern Meadows spokesperson said: “Questions must be answered as to how public money can be spent building on a nature reserve, and how such magnificent ecosystems can be destroyed for public projects when a nature emergency was declared by the Welsh Government in 2021.
“During the planning process, it was communicated to the community the tree would remain, and was to be protected. The failure to protect the tree throws into question other environmental commitments made by Velindre NHS Trust, who also pledged to maintain a 15 meter buffer between the development and the nature reserve.
“Wales is one of the most nature depleted countries in the world, and the nesting season for 2023 is about to start. Felling mature trees and destroying grassland ecosystems, and ignoring protected areas such as nature reserves and sites of interest to nature conservation cannot continue if we are to prevent the eradication of protected species in Wales.
The tree chippings were cleaned up following the protest and have been taken to be used for a local art.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “In line with planning permission and agreements with Cardiff Council, it was necessary to prune one of the remaining trees on the new Velindre site to allow for the safe construction to continue and allows the tree to remain in place for the future.”
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I and thousands of drivers were help up today for twenty minutes at a time while some trees were felled nearby. One of Cymru’s growth industries of recent times has been the public execution of trees. No I’m nearly joking, once upon a time you had to go high above Aberangell to see such things. Brand new equipment and safety gear and ever present. With the Mobile Traffic Light Brigade or was it the Royal Corps of Signals… Any tree surgeons out there? There you are; agreement with Cardiff Council and no help from the Senedd ! You should have… Read more »
To put it another way, a Druidic way, this was a stupid ignorant act, an ancient Oak full of wisdom, longevity, endurance, and honesty. Qualities that are becoming extinct among those who sit in London and elsewhere and act as Caesar loose in Gaul with no purpose other than ruination and domination by the cruellest methods. Bad Karma for the future hospital too…
A word in favour of old dead trees covered in Ivy, full of holes but still standing, the proud dwelling place of a high rise multi-species tenement, let them be…
A commendable and intellectually arty gesture. Perhaps a change of armoury?