Revised Travel Options to the High Court

As you know we have been exploring how to get as many people as possible down to London on time on the above days to support and be visible for our campaign, and many of you put your name down to consider a group travel option, mainly by coach.

We learnt last week that the High Court proceedings are likely to begin at 10.30am, and given security checks and our need to meet with our solicitor team beforehand, we would need to be at the High Court no later than by 9.30am.

Given this, and the daily experience of one of our number who goes to London most days by car,  it is clear that driving to London whether by coach or car, is not a realistic option unless we leave about 5am in the morning.  This seems very unlikely and it also does not allow for any other problems that might appear on the motorway on that day.

Letting Train Take the Strain – So we have decided to let go the bus / coach / car idea and instead look at the best Train options, given that there are 3 stations that we could look to travel from, and there maybe a group travel discount opportunity.  This would allow us to leave a bit later but obviously prices from Wellingborough can be a real problem.

Anyway, we have been doing some research and we have found the following….

  1. That of the 3 local train leaving points (Wellingborough, Northampton and Bedford), Northampton is by far the cheapest option travelling during peak times.
  2. The cost of a day return from Wellingborough (not advance) is £129 at peak times, the cost from Bedford is £53 return, and from Northampton its £34, (coming back after 20:30 (8.30pm), or £38 coming back at 19.23 (7.23pm) – that’s to Euston Station – we would have to get a bus or the underground to the High Court

Booking as a Group – we may also be able to get a better price by booking in advance, if we are quick and are able to book as a group.  Some people may get a discount anyway if they have a railcard.  So lots of potentials.

Getting to Northampton – Some of the group may well live in or near to Northampton anyway, for the rest of us we are looking to see if people could give others a lift and then share the parking cost at Northampton, I believe its about £11 or £12 per car.  And we also have the option of the Wellibus helping us too.

Likely Group Booking Times – If travelling as part of the group, presently we would be looking to leave on 30th April 2024 catching the 7:30am train from Northampton Station to London Euston, and we would be coming back later that day on the 19:23 (7:23pm) train from London Euston to Northampton.

For those of us also going again on the 1st May, we think it would be the same process, and hopefully the same costs, or less. We will inquire. So now its all about numbers:

We need to hear from you – Please fill in the following form, if you have already filled in the registration form your details will be saved with your email address and Google login, please just add the new questions if you have previously filled this in:

Please Note – If you have your own railcard or other discount method its probably better if you book your own ticket, and if you still want to travel with the group or want a lift please let us know via the questions above.

Lifts to the station – We will do our best to put people in touch with each other to arrange these yourselves.

Please let us know your responses by Friday 15th March 2024 at the latest, but the sooner the better please so we can try and get the best prices.  Please Note:  the prices quoted above are NOT set in stone, they are changing all the time but hopefully, they are indicative.

SAVE OUR TREES – Remembering the lost trees this Thursday

Wellingborough Walks Action Group

Join in to mark the anniversary of the loss of the first tree, to share memories of our campaign and to show that we are still fighting for ‘our trees’. We will gather on The Walks on London Road at 4:00pm on Thursday 22nd February, exactly one year on from when the first tree was sneakily chopped down behind our backs.

We want to hear from the protestors that stood in front of the lorries or climbed trees. Share your memories, poetry, song, sadness and more. From 4:00-5:00 it’s all about the memories, then from 5:00 we will take a stand and show passing traffic during rush hour that we are still campaigning.

Join us to SAVE OUR TREES once more (hopefully) let’s make some noise for our trees! See you on Thursday from 4pm…

Trees Update

Dear Friends,

We are keen to bring you up to date with the legal case we brought against North Northants
Council (NNC) to help save the remaining protected trees on ‘the Walks’ in Wellingborough.
When Timothy Corner KC (sitting as a Deputy High Court judge) gave us permission to take our case to the High Court on 18th December 2023, this triggered a 35 day period for NNC and Stanton Cross Developments (SCD) to submit their detailed grounds of defence against the judicial review (JR) we brought in May 2023. This they both did by 22nd November 2023.

We are pleased to report, that the legal case does (for now at least) appear to be bearing fruit. NNC has stated that no further works to the trees will take place without NNC being satisfied that pre-commencement conditions relevant to the protected trees have been properly discharged. SCD has said that even though they don’t agree with our case, they will discharge certain conditions. Of course, quite what this means in practice and whether NNC and SCD will follow – through on this commitment, remains to be seen.

After receiving this detailed defence, we had 21 days to file any evidence in response. After
discussing with our legal team, we did that on Tuesday 12th December 2023. Now we wait for our trial date in the High Court. In the meantime, we will continue to scrutinise NNC’s decision-making around the Trees and will keep going with the fundraising. We have now raised just over £15,000 of the £30,000 we need to get us to court, which is amazing!!. And the full total raised since we started in May is now more than £50,000!!!

Once again THANK YOU SO MUCH to the people of Wellingborough and beyond, you have all been absolutely fantastic!! We still have a way to go to get to the total and hopefully we will all keep working to enable this. We are still running the Crowdfunder page,—court-fees-campaign and of course people can make direct donations at

Fundraising Events – given we are likely to be in the High Court in February, we are hoping to fit in a couple of events before then. The first will be in early / mid –January, and the 2nd will be in very early February 2024. In addition we are relaunching our letter writing campaign to appeal to people, groups and businesses to help, I will be drafting a letter to share very soon. It would be great if you can share this far and wide.

Perhaps if you know people who would like to give a donation for Christmas (rather than a card or present) they might be up for donating to Save Our Trees instead. Every penny counts.

Talking of pennies, we have a lovely array of WWAG products that would make lovely stocking fillers. I will make a full list available tomorrow, or pop down to the Swansgate on Friday (22nd December) and see us with the Wellingborough Eco Group and Wellie Wombles in the shop opposite Specsavers.

Have a lovely Christmas Everyone. You are all stars to us!

Marion Turner-Hawes

Wellingborough Walks Action Group Chairman

SAVE OUR TREES – NEW Crowdfund for Court Fees Campaign

Having received the great news of permission to take our Judicial Review case to be heard at the High Court, we need £30,000 to get there to SAVE OUR TREES. So, just like the poster, that’s our new target, and we hope that you will help us hit it!

Click on the QR Code on the poster to go directly to the new Crowdfund page or on one of the links below…

The High Court has reviewed our application for Judicial Review and on 18th October 2023 it granted us permission to take our case against the Council to a full hearing at the High Court in London! Not only that, the judge stated that the case is a ‘matter of public importance’. We couldn’t agree more!

As you can imagine we are delighted with this news and remain determined to have our day in court to put the details of this case before the Judge. Ultimately we hope this will save our treasured ‘Wellingborough Walks Trees’ and make Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) actually mean something across the country!

To get to court we need to raise £30,000, plus a further £10,000 in case we loose. Clearly in dealing with such big entities the odds are stacked against us, but we believe there is enough in our case to be successful and so does our legal team.

We must acknowledge all the amazing contributions that so many people have already made and say a massive THANK YOU to all those who have already contributed to our campaign. You and the people of our town and beyond have been truly inspiring, helping us raise more than £44,000 so far. However, the work to get us to this point including the process of attempting to reach a mutually agreed solutions, has meant that we have already spent more than £39,000 of this fund.

So we are asking you, your friends, family, local organisations and communities everywhere, to help us get over the line, raise this money and get this case heard in the High Court, for the benefit of communities everywhere.

The case we are bringing fundamentally is about ensuring that TPO trees remain properly protected. We are challenging the Council around their decision making in this matter and how they allowed, and could still allow, this to happen when valid TPOs are in place.

Given this, we hope that you and people across the country who hold the preservation of trees and our heritage dear (just like for the beautiful tree at Sycamore Gap), will feel inspired to support to this campaign and help us have our ‘day in court’ to SAVE OUR TREES!

Crowdfund –—court-fees-campaign

All ways to donate –

Thank you for your kind support 💚🌳

SAVE OUR TREES Case to go to Court

We are delighted that the judge today has granted us permission to continue with our claim in the High Court to save Wellingborough Walks Trees.

The judge has said this is a ‘matter of public importance’. We couldn’t agree more. Given today’s news, we will continue our preparations for the upcoming trial, as well as our work to raise the funds we need to have our day in court to save the protected
trees on Wellingborough Walks.

We have not seen the latest plans of Stanton Cross Developments LLP for London Road roundabout, but we remain ready to consider any proposal that will protect the trees.

Our next step is to continue to raise the funds we need, and to this end we will shortly be launching a new fundraising appeal to make sure we have the resources to take this case forward.

Finally, on behalf of Wellingborough Walks Action Group committee and members, we want to say a massive thank you to all the people from the community of Wellingborough (and beyond) that have come out and supported us to save the trees, demonstrating, and putting their hands in their pockets to make sure that the people of our town are always heard on the things that are important to us.

We still have a long way to go, but this is a marvelous milestone in our journey for justice for our community, and our heritage and environment which we cherish.

Marion Turner-Hawes
Lucianne Hennessy
Wellingborough Walks Action Group Ltd

Please be aware of New Anti-Protest Laws

In respect of any protests going forward, we been made aware of new laws that apply to demonstrations. Please see below a link to the terms of the Public Order Act 2023. Significant parts of this went live this year as some as recently as early July.

Please see section 6 of part 1, which talks about the new offence of ‘Obstruction of major transport works’

With a basic understanding having read this, it seems extremely likely that had this legislation been in place, the Police could have used this power to prevent any and all of the ‘obstruction’ activities that protesters took part in in February, and that they could have used this much sooner in the process.

Section 6, point 2a, does say that a defence can be offered by a person if they can prove that they had ‘reasonable excuse’ for causing an obstruction, however, it does not define what ‘reasonable excuse means’. We would like to think that by trying to prevent a crime from happening, that would be a reasonable defence, but who knows?

Other new offences that could apply include:

  • the offence of ‘Locking on’ and causing a disruption to two or more people
  • the offence of having tools etc with you that could be for ‘locking on’
  • the offence of being equipped for tunneling

As the demonstrations that are being considered by people on Friday are likely not to be causing an obstruction or disruption to two people or more away from dwelling places; and as long as people gather on the grass and make sure not to block a pathway or roadway, these demonstrations should be fine.

We have contacted the police, local inspector Miriam said the protest may get called in, but as long as everybody is complying with the rules and not blocking pavements, roadways or locking onto anything then everybody should be fine.

Please note that it is important to point out that anyone who takes part in any protest to SAVE OUR TREES is acting as an individual, and it is everyone’s individual responsibility to comply with the law. As we are not lawyers or police officers, we have to advise anyone who wishes to protest to check with a lawyer or with the police before doing so (whether acting individually or as part of a group, company or organisation).

SAVE OUR TREES – Tree Action this Friday!

Join us at the trees on The Walks at The Embankment 8-10am this Friday to mark the end of the pause of felling by the developers. They are very unlikely to be chopping down trees on September 1st, but there their guarantee ends, so we need to be vigilant. Our trees are now at risk!

This will be a friendly protest, we don’t expect any contractors or police there, and we aren’t looking to disrupt anyone’s day. Your support is needed, join us to meet some familiar faces from the campaign, to chat about what we have done and to show that our campaign to SAVE OUR TREES is very much still ongoing.

Update from Tree Action Public Information Event

Thank you to the 80 plus people that came to our two Tree Action Public Information Events on Wednesday 23rd August. From the feedback that we have, the event was well received and informative. Many people that attended have supported us both financially and in person at the protests and at our events.

For both sessions, people came in had a cup of tea of tea or coffee, chatted to the helpers and looked at our displays. People then went into the main meeting room and were treated to a presentation. We promised you and others that have requested, the information, so, excluding a few introductory slides, follow this link for the presentation:

Now we potentially enter a new phase in our campaign, we trust that you are still with us, see you on Friday morning. Thank you for your support!

SAVE OUR TREES – Update from Tree Action Public Information Event

Thank you to the 80 plus people that came to our two Tree Action Public Information Events on Wednesday 23rd August. From the feedback that we have, the event was well received and informative. Many people that attended have supported us both financially and in person at the protests and at our events. Thank you for your support!

For both sessions, people came in had a cup of tea of tea or coffee, chatted to the helpers and looked at our displays. People then went into the main meeting room and were treated to a presentation. We promised you and the 20 or so others that have also requested, the information, so, excluding a few introductory slides, here is the presentation:

Aim of the Session

• Update you on present situation
• Explain What We have been doing
• Let you know how the money has been spent
• Offer a chance for you to ask questions
• Go through the next steps
• Ask for your Ideas and your help
• Raise more funds for the campaign

Saving the Walks Trees – How we got here

• Heard of planned felling 12th Feb 2023
• Found the Trees had Tree Preservation Orders (TPO) on them
• Worked to get ‘a pause’ but could not
• Developer felled 16 of planned 61 TPO trees
• Found Barrister (Paul Powesland) to help and received legal advice
• He blocked more felling by climbing a tree
• North Northamptonshire Council and the developer agreed a temp pause (3rd March)
• Wellingborough Walks Action Group Limited non profit company formed (17th March)
• Wellingborough Town Council held Public Meeting (9th March) and agreed to help
• Developer held public meeting (23rd March)
• North Northamptonshire Council announced further pause in during Bird Nesting Season
• Wellingborough Walks Action Group Limited appointed legal team Harrison Grant Ring

Legal Actions so far

• Lodged for Judicial Review (JR) on 18th May and immediately asked for a ‘stay’
• All parties met on 19th May at Swanspool House
• We recruited a Highways Engineer to help
• He produced report detailing minor changes to save trees
• Judge instructed us all to try and come to ‘out of court’ agreement (ADR)
• ADR started 21st June, we signed mediation and confidentially agreement
• Technical meeting happened on 30th June, all parties discussed WWAG ideas
• All parties wrote requesting further ‘stay’ to end August 2023
• Judge agreed adjournment to 1st September on 17th July
• Developer confirmed would not touch the trees in period
• Developer withdrew from ‘out of court’ discussions, ADR ended
• Developer now doing its own ‘technical review’
• We wrote to ask the developer to confirm they wont fell trees before JR ends

‘Out of Court’ Discussions – our ideas….

• Wellingborough Walks Action Group Limited believe the trees could be saved by making a few ‘minor’ adjustments to the roundabout design
• We offered discussions on this basis
• Court could be avoided for all and road happen anyway
• Changes – under S278 process – not new planning application
• Simon (Engineer) produced report suggesting adjustments
• These minor adjustments are…

Summary of Reports Suggestions

• Northern Trees – (2 trees) could save by adjusting footpath/cycle-path around them
• Central Trees – (6 trees) could retain as within planned island
• Eastern Trees – (inner line of protected trees south of roundabout) – could save by not building new cycle path if tree root protection area allows
• Western Trees – (tree line closest to road) – could save most by moving lanes over to opposite side of road

Gas Main Issue

• One issue mentioned by the Developer at their public event on
23rd March was the matter of the Gas Main cutting across the
southern side of the roundabout, and the likelihood that some
protected trees would need to be felled to make way for works to re-
enforce this pipe on both sides of the road which would extend a short
way into the ‘Whitworth’s Field’ and the ‘Embankment Field’.
• As Information shared by the Developer at their public event also
showed, the gas main is accompanied by an easement, which means
that works can be carried out on this gas main under the terms of the
easement, whether the land is publicly or privately owned (Board 6).
We believe this easement should allay the developer’s concerns
• We hope the Developers’ revised technical S278 report for the
roundabout will be shared with us and that it incorporates the
Highways Engineer’s suggested modifications

Money Raised and Spent so far

• We have raised just over £43,000, AMAZING! Thank you
• We have spent just over £38,000, leaving about £5,000
• 97% of all money has been spent on legal costs (£36,779)
• Total help from lawyers so far is 104 hours
• Consultant costs £3,000 and barrister = £7770 (included above)

Other Contributions

• Volunteer Time, over 1,000 hours contributed by the Wellingborough Walks Action Group Limited Management Committee and helpers so far, also amazing!
• Many people also paying for items for fundraising events, running stalls and we even entered the carnival (and were judged as the best entrant!)
• Wonderful events delivered including Music at the Museum, Bingo Nights and an auction.
• Performers at the museum sung for free!

Next Legal Steps

• From 1st Sept 2023, judge to review Judicial Review papers and decide on if we have ‘permission’ to go to court.
• If judge agrees, our case goes to The High Court.
• Approximately 3 months after permission given, the case heard in The High Court
• If permission not given, we can request time with the court for an in person Renewal Hearing.
• If successful, can then we go to The High Court.
• Renewal process adds approximately a further 1- 3 months to the process.

Further Legal Costs

• We have paid all costs up to JR permission review.
• If permission granted, cost approximately is £27,500 (inc VAT) to get to The High Court
• If permission refused and renewal hearing required – cost approximately is £8,500 (inc VAT) plus high court costs above if renewal successful; therefore total of £36,000 approx (inc VAT)
• If we go to court and lose, we need a further £10,000 for other parties costs
• If we require injunction to prevent felling before JR concluded we need approximately a further £8,400 (inc VAT)

Very daunting. Lots more fundraising to do!

Raising More Funds. Your Ideas

There is a significant amount of money still to raise, we want to know:

Do we have your support to keep going?

What other things can we all do to raise more funds?

Can you help us to go forward?

• As well as needing financial support, we also need time and help!
• Can you help?
• How, when?
• Could you be on the Committee?
• Can you help run events and raise funds?
• Could you do letter writing to raise funds?
• Could you speak to businesses?
• What ideas do you have?

After the presentation, everyone, chatted with the Committee Members, had more refreshments, bought a few SAVE OUR TREES t-shirts, polo shirts and bags (buy here) and the press took a few photos and videos. Also at the event was a short video display of our SAVE OUR TREES story in pictures so far, warning it does contain some upsetting images.

It includes the campaigners protesting, trees being felled, our meetings at councils and the developer, and some highlights of our activities to raise funds and awareness since the felling was paused. With the pause coming to an end and the possibility of the rest of the trees being felled from 1st September, we held a Tree Action Public Information Event to keep our supporters updated during a period of calm, before the battles that could be. Have a watch.

Keeping in touch

For more information go to our website or see our Facebook Page. To contact us please fill in the form below:

You can also send us an email or call 07954 082802 if you prefer.

Thank you for your support!

SAVE OUR TREES – Tree Action Public Information Event

We, Wellingborough Walks Action Group, invite you to a Tree Action Public Information Event on Wednesday 23rd August. It will take place at the Quaker Meeting House, we will have two sessions (with the option of a third if needed). You will need a ticket to attend (tickets are free).

Purpose of the event:

  1. Update people about the present situation.
  2. Be open and accountable to supporters.
  3. Explain what we have been doing and what we have been spending the money on.
  4. Help people understand our approach re-the out of court action.
  5. Explain some next steps.

Things we plan to cover in the information session:

  1. How we got here
    • Background to the TPO situation
    • Felling action from 12th Feb 2023 to 30th March 2023
    • Then from 18th May to present
  2. Go through our strategy and ‘Out of Court’ resolution approach.
  3. How we spent your donations.
  4. Next steps.
  5. Our fundraising approach.
  6. How you can help going forward.

Agenda for Session:

  1. Opening remarks and Presentation
  2. Questions and answers
  3. Display board and information available to look at and read
  4. Fundraising

Refreshments will be available

Book your ticket:

Please choose your session and the number of tickets you require on this form:

Selected Value: 1
Please select the number of tickets that you require by sliding the button.

We will email your tickets to you, they are free and you will need to show them to enter, see you there! (This information is also available on our Tree Action Public Information Event page)

SAVE OUR TREES – Bingo Night

Join us at 6:30pm on Friday 18th August to play Bingo at St Andrews Church Hall for our next fundraising event, it is fun for the whole family; and it’s just £10 per person to play and this time it includes food! Tickets are now available to buy now.

Click to enlarge

The food will be jacket potatoes, available with a choice of meat chili, vegan chili, beans, cheese and/or homemade coleslaw, plus a help yourself buffet on the night. Tea, coffee, soft drinks, and cakes will be on sale. We will also have a raffle! We are raising funds for legal action to save the lime trees on The Walks in Wellingborough. Buy your Bingo Tickets now by clicking on the button, please add one ticket per player to reserve your spot(s)!

St Andrews Church Hall is at 18 Berrymoor Road, Wellingborough, NN8 2HU.