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Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Thursday, 26 August 2010 12:32 UK
Barming residents campaign against quarry
Oaken Wood
Oaken Wood is ancient woodland which has been there for over 400 years

Hundreds of Kent residents are fighting to save an ancient woodland outside Barming near Maidstone from quarrying.

Gallagher Aggregates wants to open a new ragstone quarry in Oaken Wood as its current quarry in the area is about to close.

People living nearby do not want more woodland to give way to a quarry.

Gallagher Aggregates said it has "a proven track record of high quality restoration, habitat creation and environmental care".

Oaken Wood is behind the village of Barming near Maidstone.

Ancient woodland

Beyond that is a quarry supplying Kent ragstone to the specialist building trade.

This quarry has been running for 20 years and is now soon to close.

Resident Sarah Cooper said: "It's a vast wood, 74 acres.

"It's actually ancient woodland that would be lost which means that this wood has been here for over 400 years.

"It's irreplaceable and there is a lot of wildlife that use the wood, need the wood and survive because of the wood."

Proven track record

Campaigner Anita Pieman said: "My daughter was quite angry about it and set up a petition page on Facebook.

"We've got 1270 members on the Facebook page which is brilliant and we've got 800 signatures on a paper petition which is based in the local shop."

Gallagher Aggregates said the wildlife would be moved to a suitable site nearby while quarrying.

In a statement, the company said: "We understand the range of issues that must be considered including the protection of the public and the environment .

"We have a proven track record of high quality restoration, habitat creation and environmental care."





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