Third Battle of Newbury

P.O. BOX 5520, Newbury, Berks. RG14 7YW.

Tel: 01635 45544 Fax: 01635 45545 24 hr info: 01635 550552

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Immediate release 21 March 1997


Photo Opportunity

Campaigners join in Kennet Clean-up

and offer to Replant the Route

On Sunday 23rd March, local residents from the Local Voices anti-bypass group, will be joining forces with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) and others to clean up the Kennet & Avon Canal. With the aid of two canal boats, veterans of the campaign against the Newbury Bypass, they will be picking up litter and other debris, concentrating on the stretch where the road crosses Speen Moor.

A spokesperson from Local Voices said: " We have often been portrayed as negative and complaining but in fact we are all natural volunteers who care passionately for our environment. The nature of the campaign gave us few chances for showing positive alternatives."

She continued: "This week has seen our campaign vindicated by Stephen Norris on Panorama. We would like to take this opportunity to challenge the Government to pull out of the scheme now. We will volunteer our services to replant the entire route to return it, in time, to its natural state."

In a week that sees many anniversaries of the evictions on the bypass route, volunteers will have a chance to reflect on how different it might have been if Ministers had had the courage of their convictions and the local MP had followed his party's national policy.

The event will also be supported by Rachel Stark, Newbury PPC for the Green Party who has consistently opposed the bypass. She said: "BTCV carry out vital and valuable conservation work that deserves more recognition than it gets. The Green Party feel that this and other types of unpaid work should be properly recognised as a valuable contribution to the community in its own right, as opposed to the approach of the current government."

Notes for Editors

Photo call including volunteers, Rachel Stark and the canal boats at 2pm on Sunday at the Stone Building, canalside of the Wharf car park in Newbury