The future of Thornbury woodland saved following a campaign by residents has now been safeguarded.

Plans to sell land at Vilner Lane were proposed by a Lim Dem councillor and unanimously agreed by other parties in May 2014.

In October 2019 the council, now controlled by the Conservatives, looked to amend the existing approval to sell direct to a care home developer but came up against strong opposition.

At the time Cllr Ben Burton, cabinet member for corporate resources, said: “If we go against the previous decision, it would result in a significant gap in the financing of key projects.”

But, following concerns by residents the decision was reversed in February's budget.

Now South Gloucestershire Council has committed £25,000 investment to ensure its long-term sustainable future after working with the Friends of Thornbury Farm Wood and the Thornbury Community Composing Group.

Money will be spent on tree management works to improve the health of the woodland and create a more diverse canopy; supporting increased carbon capture and enhancing the local habitat.

Cllr Ben Burton, cabinet member for corporate resources, said: “I am delighted that Thornbury has supported our work to save and revive Vilner Lane Wood, reversing what was a poorly thought out decision to redevelop it, and I am encouraged by how the council has been able to work so well with community organisations.

“This investment will go a great distance in securing the wood’s long-term future. It is a great step in the right direction for Thornbury and for our work to tackle the Climate Emergency.”

Last year a cross-party climate emergency declaration was made, with around £12million having since been invested towards environmental initiatives that will support the council's 2030 carbon neutral commitment.

Brett Harrison, chairman of the Friends of Thornbury Farm Wood, said: “Losing Vilner Lane woodland would have been a great loss for the community of Thornbury and so it is fantastic that it will remain part of the local landscape.

"We are very grateful to South Gloucestershire Council for the funding they are putting forward and for giving us an enhanced opportunity to help with the maintenance and management of the site.”

READ MORE: Vilner Lane wood set to be saved after U-turn