SAVE OUR TREES – Legal Statement


On 25th May 2023 all parties involved in the Judicial Review Claim lodged by Wellingborough Walks Action Group Ltd on 18th May 2023 to save Wellingborough Walks Trees, were asked to provide a joint statement about WWAG’s request to ‘stay’ proceedings to allow time for out of court discussions between all parties (known as alternative dispute resolution (ADR)) to happen and hopefully arrive at a meaningful agreement that would save the trees and negate the need for Court action.

As part of this process the IP (interested party) in this case, Stanton Cross Developments LLP (SCD) has now made it clear that they see little point in the proceedings being ‘delayed’ by a stay to allow for out of court discussions as they feel the meeting held on 19th of May, and subsequent correspondence “served to demonstrate that the parties are not likely to reach agreement on the disputed issues through ADR (alternative dispute resolution)”.

They go on to say that they, SCD, believe they have the appropriate planning permission and that the felling of up to 40 trees from Wellingborough Walks is required and is lawful under the existing planning approval.

They dispute that any meaningful agreements were made at the meeting of the 19th May 2023, and any reasonable chance of the Claimant (WWAG) and the IP (SCD) coming to a mutual agreement if the meetings did happen.


Members of WWAG were left dismayed and saddened to read of this radical change of approach by SCD (the IP) particularly given the proposal by SCD colleagues at the meeting on 19th May to hold technical discussions and their further commitment to pause any tree felling beyond the end of July to allow time for these discussions to progress.

“This feels like SCD have done a complete 180 degree about-turn”, said WWAG Ltd Chairperson, Marion Turner-Hawes.  “Just two weeks ago in a room of 13 people, including Councillors from Wellingborough Town Council, SCD made commitments to hold technical discussions and to work with WWAG Ltd and our highways expert to see if there could be a way that the plans for the roundabout on London Rd could be amended to save as many protected tree as possible.  Those discussions have not even happened yet, but they seem happy to relinquish this idea even while they were agreeing arrangements with us to hold these technical discussions”.

“We feel badly let down”, says Ms Turner-Hawes.  “At the meeting the CEO of Vistry Homes made a specific point that we should all be able to trust each other, that request sounds hollow to us now given SCD’s new stated position, and their belief that we are so far apart that the Court should be left to resolve this”.  

Ms Turner-Hawes goes on to say, “this about-turn on their commitments by SCD will not go down well with local residents who trusted their proposed approach and believed SCD did intend to do their best to save the trees, and this will do little to enhance trust with local residents that Vistry Homes CEO stated in the meeting he was keen to re-build following a number of issues recently where he accepted that SCD had ‘dropped the ball’ when it came to working on issues ‘on the other side of the railway line’ (i.e. within existing areas of Wellingborough)”. 

“How are we ever supposed to believe them now” she asked. “Many people will be reading in the local paper this weekend and welcoming the news about the extended halt to tree felling beyond the end of July stated by SCD on 19th May, only now to discover, days later, that they (SCD) have taken this away, and that far from not being ‘wedded to the present design of the London Rd Roundabout’ as Vistry Homes CEO mentioned in that meeting, SCD are actually determined that their present plans should not change.  So we have to question did they ever have any intension of entering in to discussions in good faith”.

“It’s very frustrating but we plough on, determined that the voice of these protected trees and the many residents of Wellingborough who hold this avenue of trees in such high regard, will be heard one way or another”.

Raising Funds

Ms Turner-Hawes goes on to say “we have already raised more than £23,000 in donations to take action to protect the trees and safeguard our Embankment area.  People from Wellingborough, both near and far, have been so kind and amazing really.  But the legal process is a costly business and we need to raise more funds to ensure we can defend our case in Court, if the Judge accepts this.  So if people, businesses or community bodies are able to contribute this would help ensure the voice of the trees and local residents are properly heard”.

“We can not say if we will be able to save the trees but we are doing our utmost to ensure that can happen.  We had hoped this could happen through mutual agreement where the trees could be saved and the developer would still get their roundabout but it appears this is now less likely, but we carry on and we trust that the people of Wellingborough will continue to support these efforts to save the Trees and the natural heritage of the Walks”.

People wishing to donate can do this by going to

If you wish to make a cash donation please complete the form on the ‘Donate’ page of the website and our colleague will be in touch with you to make arrangements.

Once again thank you so much for your kind support


The Legal Position

Hopefully you are aware that we filed our claim for judicial review on the 18th May 2023, and we immediately asked the court to ‘stay’ (pause) proceedings to allow time for discussions to try and resolve this issue out of court.

The court has been investigating that request, and noted the failure of both the Council and Stanton Cross Developments LLP to respond to our request for an agreed ‘stay’.

As a result, the court ordered last Thursday that all parties come up with a joint plan for how to use any pause effectively to resolve our differences or to set out why that cannot be agreed.  The judge has required us to produce this plan by lunchtime this Friday.

With the help of our solicitors, we have written out a timetable, which we think will help the parties work together to try to avoid further felling and resolve the dispute.  We have sent this draft timetable to the other parties with the hope that they will agree to it and for their input.

If this plan is agreed, it could offer a clear route to resolving these matters by the end of July, although there is no guarantee that the parties will agree even after further discussions, so we could still end up in court later on.

What is helpful is that the court has put pressure on all parties to respond to our proposals instead of us calling for certain actions but getting little response.

So, we welcome the court’s intervention to help move things on.

Possible Technical Solutions

Secondly, at the meeting on the 19th May 2023, it was agreed that we would meet with staff from the Stanton Cross Developments LLP to have technical discussions about possible changes to the road layout south of the roundabout.

We wrote last week and again yesterday to the developer, requesting certain information to enable those discussions.  We have also recruited a highways expert to help us understand the developer’s proposals and put forward some of our own ideas, where appropriate.

We hope a meeting with the developer can take place fairly soon once the information we have requested is provided.

We will keep you posted on the results.

Raising More Funds

Finally, as you can imagine, all of these actions are costing a great deal of money.

People have donated a significant amount to help towards this campaign, so far more than £23,000.   However, the legal work and highways advice is costing a great deal even though we are managing to get discounts at every stage. 

At last night’s WWAG committee meeting we noted that, given all the work the legal team has done in the last few weeks, we have spent a significant amount leaving us with about £7000.   The work that is planned, if the timetable is agreed, will use up the remainder of these funds and more.

Next week we plan to launch a further fundraising campaign to provide the further resources we need to help us save the remaining protected trees on the Walks.

We are so grateful for all the contributions that continue to be made to this campaign.  Please know that we are squeezing benefit from every pound that is being donated, but the legal route is a costly process even when we have an excellent team guiding us.

Can Anyone Else Help……?

Please do think of any other people, businesses or community organisations that might wish to help us.  Once again, tell friends and family, neighbours, acquaintances, about the campaign, and that they can make a donation at any point.

Please go to the to donate page or contact Jonathan Hornett if you wish to make a cash or cheque donation.   Every penny really is making a difference to help us save the trees.

Our Fundraising Bingo and Bar-Be-Que ‘Shindig’

On that note, this Friday evening (2nd June) we have our wonderful BINGO and Bar-Be get together.  This offers another opportunity to raise funds and a chance for everyone to get together and once again enjoy each other’s company. 

There are more tickets to buy so if you haven’t ordered your tickets yet please do. The weather looks like it will be good for our barbecue. So it will be wonderful to see you all there, and if it turns out you can make it at least you know your funds will go towards saving the trees!

Please go to our Bingo page to buy tickets in advance.  If you wish to buy them using cash or cheques, again please let Jonathan know.

I look forward to seeing you all on Friday evening, proceedings kickoff at 6:30pm

Finally, a massive THANK YOU to everyone for your continued support and efforts at all levels to save the trees on Wellingborough walks.

Best wishes

Marion and the WWAG committee xx

SAVE OUR TREES – Legal Action Begins

Wellingborough Residents Begin Action to Save the Protected Trees on The Walks in Wellingborough

Wellingborough Walks Action Group Limited (WWAG Ltd) have written to North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) notifying them of our intention to begin legal proceedings unless action is taken to save the protected trees on ‘The Walks’.

In February 2023, Stanton Cross Developments LLP felled 16 protected trees, many at least 140 years old. Many more remain under threat despite being protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). Due to action taken by WWAG Ltd and local residents, Stanton Cross and NNC agreed to a temporary pause, later extended to the end of July 2023. 

Since then, we have been asking the developer and Council to meet with us to find a way to save the remaining trees, including by agreeing changes to the planned works on London Rd roundabout.  While we are due to meet with representatives from Vistry Homes (part-owners of Stanton Cross Developments Ltd) and Wellingborough Town Council (WTC), NNC turned down our request, because of the threat of possible legal proceedings. 

The Chairperson of WWAG Ltd, Marion Turner-Hawes  said:

“Given the many statements made by NNC Councillors at the full council meeting on 30 March that no one wants to see any more protected trees felled from “The Walks”, we are very disappointed that the Council is refusing to engage in discussions to save the trees. We have asked for this meeting to avoid having to commence legal proceedings. The Council’s response, that it’s not appropriate to meet with a group that is prepared to take legal action to protect our trees, is misguided and deeply frustrating”.

WWAG Ltd remains ready to meet with NNC but, following the Council’s publication of its position on 30 March, we are also conscious of the need to act (given time limits on judicial review requests), if we want to save the trees which is why we have started the pre-action process today. Our letter, drafted with the help of barrister Will Upton KC, sets out why we believe the Council have acted unlawfully in failing to protect the trees and why they should take action to prevent more felling.

We have also asked again that NNC engage with us and the developer to find a solution that safeguards the trees. Although NNC inherited delivery of the Stanton Cross Sustainable Urban Expansion (SUE) from the now dissolved Borough Council of Wellingborough, NNC must ensure the TPO is complied with and the developer acts within the limits of any planning permission they are acting under. Our letter is clear that the exceptions to the TPO protection relied upon by the Council do not apply.

We hope the NNC will recognise that residents of Wellingborough feel very strongly about ‘The Walks’ and that not only is it appropriate for NNC to engage with WWAG Ltd, it is also the most effective way to find a permanent and sustainable solution that saves the protected trees and avoids legal proceedings. If not, we remain ready to take our case to the High Court.


Join us at St Andrews Church Hall at 6:30pm on Friday 2nd June to play Bingo for our next fundraising event, it is fun for the whole family; and it’s just £5 per person to play!

  • Tickets are now available to buy now.
  • St Andrews Church Hall is at 18 Berrymoor Road, Wellingborough, NN8 2HU.

We are raising funds for legal action to save the lime trees on The Walks in Wellingborough. Tea, coffee, soft drinks, and food will be available to buy from our BBQ and buffet on the night. We will also have a raffle!

Buy your Bingo Tickets now by clicking on the button, please add one ticket per player to reserve your spot(s)!

SAVE OUR TREES – Coronation Picnic.

Join Wellingborough Walks Action Group campaigners, Northants Veggies & Vegans and Wellingborough Eco Group at The Embankment this Bank Holiday Monday 1-4 for a picnic to celebrate the coronation with Friends and family (it’s an excuse for some fun!)

Northants Veggies and Vegans will also have a vegan food share, so if you want to join in just bring something vegan to put on the table. Bring a blanket, food and a bottle. We will have games and all sorts of fun for the whole family. Join us between 1 and 4, look out for the green gazebos, see you there!

Love Your Tree Day

Show your love for your favourite tree on #LoveYourTreeDay!

Trees have so many benefits, they provide us with oxygen to breathe, home for wildlife, and much more. Following recent events on The Walks in Wellingborough, and the success of the Save Our Trees campaign, we think that our trees deserve to be celebrated. We would like everyone to chose their favourite tree and decorate it for May, and this starts with Love Your Tree Day on the 1st!

Trees form an essential part of our environment and, over the years, their importance has been taught to children growing up. Even in recent times, individuals have become so environmentally conscious that a sustainable lifestyle to protect our trees has become the norm. Most people now want to protect and preserve our trees, which make the world a better and safer place to live in.

Love Your Tree Day is all about showing that you love trees. You can do this in a number of ways. By simply tying a yellow ribbon around your favourite tree you can show that someone cares for that tree. Decorations could be more than that, but we would like to show everyone in our town that our trees are loved without creating mess. You can also draw them, photograph them and even plant them, and then share them!

Join SAVE OUR TREES campaigners and Wellingborough Eco Group members at The Embankment and The Walks at 11am in the car park to dress the trees and/or dress your favourite tree near you!

Yellow ribbons are to be taken down and recycled after the Waendal Walk weekend, sustainable cotton yellow ribbons will be also available from our ECO HUB. It would be amazing if these decorations could last for a couple of weeks, so that those celebrating the Coronation and those taking part in the Waendal Walk could see them and join in.

ECO HUB has started a tree of hands today, and we want your hand in it. Draw round your hand, colour it in, add it to the tree. Join in at our Happy Cafés, Eco Club for Kids and Polish Community Group sessions. Here is the ECO HUB Hand Tree so far:

The 1st May represents a celebration of life for everyone, and has done for hundreds of years, that’s why we want everyone to celebrate trees which breathe life into our town! So decorate your tree, take a picture and share on your favourite social media platform with the hashtag #LoveYourTreeDay and with us! We look forward to seeing your favourite trees!


Hi everyone!

Here’s a little update for you from our campaign…

Last night we held our third Management Committee Meeting, here is what was discussed:

  • Directors of the limited company are now registered with Companies House as Martine and Lucy. Marion is no longer a director but is still Chairperson of the Management Committee.
  • Meeting with solicitors discussed and action agreed on (sorry have been advised not to share details of this yet)
  • Agreed to pay Paul P our barrister for his work so far, to request an invoice for this.
  • Committed to pay for new legal services and action.
  • Finance update shared by Martine and Jonathan including forecasted balance.
  • Crowdfunder, Auction sales, t-shirt, craft, wristband and other donations all paid into bank/PayPal accounts (so far).
  • Stephen brought in a collection tin (pictured) full of donations from his work for wristbands that contained £137.40!
  • Jonathan (me) has been nominated to provide updates to the group members via WhatsApp, social media including SAVE OUR TREES – Wellingborough Walks Action Group | Facebook (do join) and Blog – Save Our Trees.

Love Your Tree Day – Join in!

  • Decorate your favourite tree on Monday 1st May, take a picture, share on social media with #LoveYourTreeDay

  • Yellow ribbon is now available at ECO HUB (open today 12-2 and tomorrow 10-2 and 6-8)

  • Add your hand to the Happy Café Tree at ECO HUB, more than 20 have already!

  • Join us at The Embankment car park at 11am on 1st May to decorate (and celebrate) our trees!

Take decorations down Monday 15th May (after Waendal Walk)

Coronation Picnic

Join us at The Embankment on Monday 8th May 1-4pm for lunch! Bring your pack up, blanket and Pims, to celebrate the coronation of the king in the company of the trees that we have saved (so far).

Waendal Walk

  • Volunteers needed to talk to people as they take part in the Friendship Walk on Friday 12th May 6-8pm. Walker will be passing the felled trees and wondering why on earth they have been chopped down. We need to be telling all of them that more trees are at risk!

We plan to have pictures of the trees with protestors at each stump, have badges made to give away, and have wristbands and donation tins available on The Walks’ so get your Save Our Trees t-shirts on and let’s get them lovely walkers involved!


  • You will be very glad to find out that we are committing a large chunk of what we have raised already to the legal action that in the pipeline. But of course what that means is that every penny counts and there are various ways to donate to support this legal action including buying a t-shirt, getting a wristband, attending our fundraising concert, or just donating if you can…

  • Wristbands are available at ECO HUB, Glamis Hall, Goldsmith Road, NN8 3RU and at all of our other events!

  • The Fundraising Concert will be publicised soon, watch this space!

You can donate online with a credit or debit card, or via PayPal at Donate – Save Our Trees, or by cash or cheque at ECO HUB (cheques can also be posted to ECO HUB)

Thank you ALL for your support!

SAVE OUR TREES – Fundraising Auction

We are delighted to be holding an auction to raise funds to support our campaign. This will be of particular interest to people who like a bit of a tipple. We don’t think there has ever been so much booze in a church hall fundraiser! Funds will go towards the legal battle to stop any more trees being felled on The Walks.

The Save Our Trees Fundraising Auction will take place on Saturday 22nd April at Saint Andrew’s Church Hall, Berrymoor Road, Wellingborough, NN8 2HU. Please arrive for 7.00pm registration to enable the auction to start promptly at 7.30pm.

We have had many kind donations, there is an excellent selection of whiskeys and spirits including a bottle of Glenfiddich Malt Whiskey Liqueur (RRP £300) and many other top collectible brands. Plus, there are meals at local cafes and restaurants and even a holiday!

The auction catalogue below speaks for itself, a number of items have presale bids already (all alcohol apart from one on the Fortnum and Mason Hamper). Anyone who wishes to make a presale bid is welcome to do so, but you must be able to guarantee your donation, use the bid form at the bottom of this post to make a presale bid. We will contact you to inform you if you have the highest bid. Anyone who wishes to bid on the night must be there by 7.00 in order to register. Here is the catalogue:

1 Famous Grouse whiskey
2 Canadian Club Whiskey
3 Teachers Whiskey
4 Stewarts Scotch Whiskey
5 Martell Cognac
6 Hennessy Cognac
7 Tesco Napoleon Brandy
9 A quantity of Neal’s Yard Toiletries
10 St John’s silver mounted swagger stick
11 Lagavulin Malt Whiskey
12 Chivas RegaL Whiskey
13 Famous Grouse Bourbon Cask Whiskey
14 Bottle of Nicholas Feuillatte Champagne
15 A musical Steiff Teddy Bear
16 A quantity of Neal’s Yard Toiletries
17 Quinta Do Vesuvio 1990 port
18 Smirnoff Vodka
19 Remy Martin Champagne Cognac
20 Grand Marnier
21 Teachers Whiskey
22 Bells 1 litre Whiskey
23 Johnnie Walker Red Label Whiskey
24 Hedges & Butler Whiskey
25 Courvoisier
26 A Set of Winston Churchill Silver Centenary Medals.
27 A quantity of Neal’s Yard Toiletries
28 Martell Cognac
29 Hennessy Cognac
30 Glenfiddich Malt Whiskey Liqueur
31 Johnnie Walker Black Label Whiskey
32 Famous Grouse 35cl
33 Just A Thimble Full Whiskey
34 Afternoon Tea for Two at Puds & Guds
35 A leather bound history of Northamptonshire (dated 1874)
41 Bells 1 litre Whiskey
42 Johnnie Walker Red Label Whiskey
43 Whyte & Mackay Whiskey
44 Jameson Irish Whiskey
45 Dimple Whiskey
46 Martell Cognac
47 Fernando Di Castilla Brandy
48 Grand Marnier
49 Benedictine
50 A weekend’s free accommodation in Blackpool (subject to
51 A Fortnum & Mason Hamper (Brand New)
52 A Wedding Dress & Two Bridesmaid Dresses
53 Ballantine’s Whiskey
54 Grant’s Whiskey
55 Johnnie Walker Red Label Whiskey
56 Sainsbury’s Blended Whiskey
57 Ancestor’s Dewar’s Deluxe Whiskey
58 Famous Grouse 35cl
59 Glayva Scotch Liqueur
60 Grand Marnier
61 Gordons Gin
62 Smirnoff Vodka
63 Glen Crinan Whiskey
64 A large Steiff Teddy Bear
65 35 Bottles of assorted red wine.
66 Bottle of Graham Beck Pinot Noir Rose
67 Johnnie Walker Red Label Whiskey
68 Surprise bottle
69 Surprise bottle
70 Surprise bottle
71 Surprise bottle

The surprise bottle bags listed at the end will contain the following (this might be subject to last minute alteration): a bottle of whiskey; a bottle of spirit; a bottle of red wine and one of white; a bottle of lemonade; and a bottle of water. The catalogue has a gap in the middle for any additional lots that might be donated over the coming days.

Presale bid donations will be held until the end of the sale. If the lots that have received the presale bids are outbid by another bidder, we will return the funds. If you would like to make a presale bid please fill in the form below:

Selected Value: 1
Please add name of item you are bidding on.
Bid in whole £s only

Do join us at The Save Our Trees Fundraising Auction on Saturday 22nd April at Saint Andrew’s Church Hall, Berrymoor Road, Wellingborough, NN8 2HU. See you at 7.00pm for registration and to start bidding at 7:30pm!

SAVE OUR TREES – Crowdfund Target Hit

We did it! We have successfully raised £12,042 on our Crowdfunder, with 321 supporters in 21 days, thank you to the residents of Wellingborough and to all of the people who have donated to support our legal action. This shows that the people of Wellingborough believe that the felling of the trees on The Walks is unlawful (as the trees are protected by a Tree Preservation Order from 2016).

The developer and North Northants Council have previously argued that the developer’s work is exempt from the TPO rules and that they can fell the trees legally. We have sought legal advice and we believe the exemption the Developer is relying on does not apply and as a result the felling is unlawful and they are committing a criminal offence.

North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) have released a number of documents and a statement, reasserting Vistry’s ‘right’ to fell the protected trees on the Wellingborough Walks under an exemption to do with Vistry having full planning permission gained following the approval in Feb 2017 of the s73 planning variation.  The statement does also include a link to planning documents that gives us a four month reprieve for the trees.

The Council, in the person of Leader Jason Smithers, then said at the Full Council Meeting on the 30th March, in response to John Gilyead’s question about meeting with Vistry, that NNC would welcome a new variation application from Vistry, but that he did not see that NNC has a role to enable that. NNC did back a motion to protect Tree Preservation Order trees in new planning applications.

In the latest statement from Vistry (Stanton Cross LLP – Monday 3rd April) they are saying many things following the exhibition on 23rd March, including that they “are looking at alternatives and will make proposals to NNC to try and save as many trees as possible,” but that they still proposing to cut down up to 46 of the trees, that means 31 more lime trees on The Walks are at risk.

We have written to both the developer and council, and have a meeting planned with the developer to discuss ways to save our trees. Failing this we see that the only way we can stop this is to take the case to court and seek an injunction to permanently stop the tree felling for good. This is what we plan to do should other attempts fail, and why we need your help to raise the funds to do this.

We have set up a limited company to facilitate this and have instructed solicitors to take the legal action needed. We have four months to save the limes trees on The Walks, thanks to the bird’s nesting season; and thanks to your kind donations and support, we will do everything we can to save their homes permanently, SAVE OUR TREES!

SAVE OUR TREES – 2 days left to Crowdfund for Legal Action

Thank you to the 301 people that have contributed to our Crowdfund so far. We have hit an incredible 94% of our target, but with just two days to go, can we reach our goal?

Over the past couple of months our town came together to save the trees on The Walks, and for that time we denied the developer the 61 trees they intended to fell, and caused a pause in the work, but we now want to save these trees permanently for future generations of our community to enjoy. To do this we need everyone’s help.

We believe the felling of these trees is unlawful as the trees are protected by a Tree Preservation Order from 2016. But the developer and North Northants Council have argued that the developer’s work is exempt from the TPO rules and that they can fell the trees legally. We have sought legal advice and we believe the exemption the developer is relying on does not apply and as a result the felling is unlawful and they are committing a criminal offence.

We see that the only way we can prove this is to take the case to court and seek an injunction to permanently stop the tree felling for good! This is what we plan to do and we need your help to raise the funds to do this. We aim to raise £12,000 to take the legal action we need to save the Wellingborough Walks trees, will you help us?

Donate to our Crowdfunder

Please donate what you can, small or large, and let‘s show the developer and the local council that the people of our town are not prepared to stand by and see these trees and The Walks trashed in this appalling way; and that we are determined to SAVE OUR TREES and our natural heritage for countless generations to come.

Thank you for your support 💚🌳