Genesis rock star to join campaigners in battle to save Loxwood woodland

Rock legend Mike Rutherford - co-founder of the band Genesis - is joining a protest this weekend to protect woodland in Loxwood.

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 10:53 am

The singer-songwriter, who also formed the band Mike and the Mechanics, has lived in Loxwood for the past 40 years.

Proposals to build a clay excavation site and landfill recycling plant in the village have prompted the guitarist to speak out against the plans.

And he will be joining locals on Saturday (August 7) to speak out about the impact the 33-year project could have on the local community and environment.

Residents are fighting to protect woodland at Loxwood where proposals have been put forward for clay excavation works. Photo: Mike Burrell

Loxwood Clay Pits Ltd has submitted a planning application to West Sussex County Council to create a clay quarry and construction materials recycling facility in Pallinghurst Woods - an area criss-crossed by public footpaths and bridleways, well used by horse riders, cyclists and walkers.

The plans have already met with huge opposition, with campaigners arguing that the area is a greenfield site with established native woodland that provides an invaluable wildlife habitat.

They have also raised concerns about the increase in HGV movements on local rural roads.

Mike Rutherford - who was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fam in 2010 - will join other campaigners at the proposed entrance to the site at the lay-by on the Loxwood Road on Saturday between 10am and 12 noon.

Mike Rutherford made a video objecting to plans for Loxwood clay pits SUS-201217-101008001

He said: “The change locally would be so incredibly bad that I think it’s important we try and stop it.”

The project is being opposed by the Stop Loxwood Clay Pit team, a large group of local volunteers including experienced and successful ecology campaigners, who aim to uncover the relevant policy-related reasons to object to any planning application that could affect the woodlands and surrounding countryside.

Former fashion model Pattie Boyd is among other high-profile figures who have spoken out against the proposals.

The icon of the 1960s and 70s and now successful photographer regularly walks her dog Freddie in Loxwood Woods and says she is appalled by the plans.

Campaigners say they will be meeting near the proposed site at Pallinghurst Woods, as well as Loxwood Post Office and Church Street in Rudgwick, every Saturday for the next four weeks.

They will also be at the Loxwood Fete on August 21.