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Music star on song for woodland fight

By Aimee Jones | Mid Wales | Music | Published:

A music industry publicist who helped propel the likes of U2 and Davie Bowie to fame has backed a campaign to stop a woodland on the Shropshire/Powys border being felled.

Tony Michaelides

Tony Michaelides has lent his support to a growing campaign to stop Tilhill Forestry from felling the 38-acre Garth Coppice woodland outside Llansantffraid-Ym-Mechain.

His support comes less than five days after the launch of an online petition which has already gained more than 2,000 signatures.

Tony, who is originally from Manchester but now lives in Florida, said: “My partner, Mary, and I have spent many happy hours simply looking at the woodland and watching the wildlife.

"It is a remarkable place of amazing beauty and it is a travesty that the forestry company and the landowner want to fell the site.

"I may have made my life in America but if there’s one place on the planet I never tire of returning to it’s the Coppice and surrounding area.

"I’m intending to help by leveraging my contact book to drive international awareness of the campaign at a time when the conservation agenda has never been more important not just for wildlife but for human existence as a whole.”

He has joined a growing list of internationally renowned wildlife photographers and conservationists who are fighting to stop the felling.

Diverse

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Tilhill Forestry originally started felling the site, which is owned by the Beauclerk Estate, in March but it was stopped shortly after when Powys-based wildlife photographer Ellie Rothnie alerted the company to the presence of nesting birds of prey.

The woodland straddles the England and Wales border and is host to an incredibly diverse range of wildlife including goshawks, buzzards, badgers, foxes, sparrowhawks, bats, tawny and little owls, as well as many mature trees.

But Ellie said machinery and chainsaws are set to return to Garth Coppice in September.

"This is a remarkable habitat and if Tilhill choose to fell the entire site they will turn a wildlife oasis into a wildlife desert and they will create a large number of wildlife refugees in a predominately agricultural surrounding area," she said.

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Wildlife photographers including Shropshire-based Mark Sisson, Scottish photographer and conservationist Neil McIntyre, Staffordshire-based conservation photographer Scott Latham and Wirral-based Kevin Morgans have all signed the petition.

It is calling on Tillhill Forestry and Beauclerk Estate to reconsider their decision.

Tillhill Forestry said it would not be making any comments regarding Garth Coppice.

Aimee Jones

By Aimee Jones
@aimeejones_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Shrewsbury office, covering Shrewsbury, North Shropshire and South Shropshire.

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