ANGRY villagers are preparing to stage a protest against the sale of an ancient woodland when it goes up for auction next week.

Teucheen Woods, in Inchinnan, is set to go under the hammer at Glasgow’s Radisson Hotel on Monday, with a guide price of £35,000.

But dozens of protestors who are keen to protect the land from any future development are hoping to stop the sale in its tracks.

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The land, which is thought to have been an ancient battle site in 1164, has been subject to a Tree Preservation Order since 1957, meaning it is protected from development.

But members of Inchinnan Community Council and other villagers fear this could be in danger of changing if the woods, owned by Blythswood Estate, fall into “the wrong hands.”

Maggie Morrison, council secretary, said: “The woods are part of the history of this village. We are losing so much around us to development and a lot of it we are supportive of, but our trees mean a lot to our community.

 

The Gazette: The woods (centre of image) are thought to have been the site of a battle in 1164The woods (centre of image) are thought to have been the site of a battle in 1164

“It is a beautiful area and generations of people have played there. These woods are very important to the local environment.”

Future Property Auctions, which will be running the auction on Monday, has said the land offers “a unique investment in a seldom available semi-rural location.”

The community council is unable to buy the woods because it does not have the funds, nor is it the correct type of organisation for purchasing land.

But members have started the process of creating an Inchinnan Development Trust which would be able to purchase the site. It is hoped this will be in place before the end of the year.

The Gazette: Iain Nicolson, leader of Renfrewshire Council, is among those backing the campaign Iain Nicolson, leader of Renfrewshire Council, is among those backing the campaign

Maggie hopes Blythswood Estate will engage with the community council and halt the auction, giving the new trust the chance to secure the 14-acre site at a later date.

She added: “We are hoping the seller will engage with us but we have not been able to make contact. If we do not hear from them, we will absolutely be protesting in the hope of putting off any buyer who might be there.

“If the site does sell, we will approach the new owner to find out their aspirations and plans for the woods.”

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Staff from Lottery Land Fund Scotland are due to visit the community council this month to discuss the idea of a development trust and funding to secure the woods.

If the protest does go ahead on Monday, it is thought organisations such as Greenpeace and the Woodland Trust will also be involved.

The Gazette made attempts to contact Blythswood Estate for comment.

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