Titnore’s Blog


Since May 2006 Titnore Woods near Worthing West Sussex has been occupied in resistance to proposed ‘development’ by the West Durrington Consortium, a group which includes Persimmon Homes, Taylor-Wimpey, Heron Land Developments and Tesco.

The consortium plans to build nearly 900 houses and an even larger Tesco than the nearby existing one. To do this it must tear down irreplaceable semi-ancient woodland and all of this on a floodplain! The neighboring estates built with the current Tesco as the hub of the “community” have drainage problems as it is, which will only worsen if this suburban sprawl is allowed to continue. The new housing is not needed in the area. According to Worthing Borough Council there is a great deal more empty housing in the town than they are intending to build.

The woodland itself is one of only two remaining areas of semi-ancient woodland on the West Sussex coastal plain supporting unique eco-systems and a diversity of flora and fauna some of which is very rare. To endanger this for the sake of profit does not make sense. Local campaigns such as Protect our Woodland and Titnore Emergency Action as well as a range of autonomous individuals have organised opposition to the plans since their conception. Demonstrations, critical masses, benefit gigs and the storming of council meeting are just a few of the tactics that have been used over the years to save Titnore. A legal battle made by the Worthing Society over the incorrect categorisation of Titnore Lane has succeeded, with the roads re-classification leading to the preservation of trees adjacent to the lane itself and plans for the entire project having to be re-submitted.

The encampment in the woods will have to be evicted by specialist bailiffs before work can proceed. Both ground and tree based defences serve to make this as difficult and expensive as possible. In the air there are treehouses, nets, lock-ons and walkways to connect them together. Many people on site live in treehouses, others in benders on the ground. Site is an open community and decisions are made non-hierarchically. Much of life on site is communally based. Sometimes there’s a lot of hard work but it’s a good laugh as well. Visitors welcome. Bring a head torch and some decent boots.

Although Worthing council rejected the planning application from the West Durrington Consortium in March 2010, the area remains designated for housing development in the Local PLan. This means it is still in danger! The Tesco has been built anyway, with separate planning permission. The camp remains as the Tesco is one field away.

Come visit the camp and help stop Tesco taking over the world!




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We have posted the campaign via our social media sites (facebook.com/woodwatch) and also set up a new page of inspirational songs, poetry and creative writing online that includes Greg Harper’s protest song for Titnore Woods ‘All Gone’ – http://bit.ly/B1tfb. Best of luck
Kaye (Woodland Trust)

Comment by Kaye Brennan

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