Protect the Quantock Hills

Image courtesy of Crowcombe Al on flickr
One of my mountain biking friends forwarded me a link the other day to a campaign to protect the Quantock Hills. Whilst I don't recall having cycled in the Quantocks, the name was instantly familiar as it regularly crops up in the biking calendar for our MTB group's day rides.

What's happening is that Somerset County Council is finding money a bit tight and is looking to sell off 2,000 acres of woodland and moorland to pay for schools and roads in the county. Great Wood, Customs Common and Thorncombe Hill are all up for sale and, whilst the Quantock Hills are designated as an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), the proposed sale has naturally angered a lot of people.

Locals are mystified that Somerset County Council would actually wish to sell the 2,000 acres of land anyway, especially considering that the land is apparently so protected that nothing can be done with it - even neighbouring landowners won't touch it!

Friends of Quantock have lodged a formal complaint against the sale and action group 38 degrees, who have had a number of social and environmental victories in the past, have waded into the action. The campaign, Protect the Quantock Hills, already has nearly 40,000 signatories!

So, if you're a fan or a friend of the Quantock Hills, you've walked or biked there or you just want to stand up for the protection of our natural habitat in this country then feel free to go over to the 38 degrees and sign their petition... Protect the Quantock Hills!