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Special Announcement for Inspire Festival Regarding George Street Woods June 2013
Inspire Festival and George Street Wood
It is with deep regret that I have had to move the Enchanted Woodland Theme, planned as one of the Inspire Festival activities, to the grassy area at the back of the church. The same activities will still be taking place; we will just not be able to enjoy the ambience of the woodland.
The Enchanted Woodland Parade will still be taking place; the route will take us around George Street Wood to Harehills Park.
Reasons for the changing from George Street Wood to the grassy area at the back of the church.
The land where George Street Wood is situated is on land that has no known owner.
A local resident and his wife are trying to claim the land by adverse possession, and develop the land into a campsite and motor home tourist facility.
Acquiring land by adverse possession is the process by which a person who is not the legal owner of land can become its owner after having exclusively occupied it for a specified period of time.
Since announcing that Inspire Festival will be using George Street Wood for the Enchanted Woodland Theme, I have been bombarded with intimidating emails. Emails have also been sent to my place of work, some of my contacts and festival participants, the councillors who donated funding, the council which has donated the Small Arts Grant and also The lady who has very kindly supported me by creating and running the Inspire Festival website. I don’t want anyone related to the Festival to be treated in this way, which is why I have now come to the conclusion to move the woodland themed activities to the back of the church. Please accept my apologies if this decision causes you any disappointment.
The same activities will be taking place a few feet away. We will not be able to enjoy the ambience of the woodland in an organised way, but it is entirely legal for you to go into the Wood. Please be careful not to damage any wildlife, trees, or boundary fences.
Friends of George Street Wood
The general public currently enjoys George Street Wood and has done so since at least 1935.
The Friends of George Street Wood is a group of local people that is campaigning for George Street Wood to remain open to the public by appealing to High Peak Borough Council for the land to be a designated Local Green Space, which would give it the same protection as green belt; the Council is proposing to do this in its new Local Plan currently in development. FoGSW has also applied to Derbyshire County Council for the land to be designated a Town/Village Green which would protect it for the public in perpetuity. In order for anyone to claim the land by adverse possession they have to show exclusive use of it for a minimum of 12 years. Friends of George Street Wood is therefore encouraging the public to continue to use the land as every time it is used, the adverse claim clock reverts to zero. FoGSW holds regular events on the land in order to preserve its public access. Legal advice obtained by FoGSW has confirmed that the resident and his wife do not own the land, despite placing a fence round it, and will not do so until they can demonstrate that they have had exclusive use of it for 12 years.
If you would like to know more about the Friends of George Street Wood and its campaign, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.