Campaigners fundraise to fund legal team for Freeman’s Wood court action

Phil Bleazey in his Morgan 3W.
Phil Bleazey in his Morgan 3W.
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Campaigners battling to save a beloved natural resource are embarking on a series of fundraising events to fund legal representation.

The Friends of Freeman’s Wood, who are fighting to stop overseas developers building houses on the land, have lodged an application with Lancashire County Council to have the area designated as a Town Green.

But now developers have triggered a judicial review of how the Town Green application was handled by the county council, leaving the group in urgent need of costly legal advice.

Green councillor Jon Barry said: “The judicial review into the Town Green application will be held in the High Court in Manchester on June 13-14.

“I will be attending to give evidence as the person who submitted the original Town Green application on behalf of Friends of Freeman’s Wood.

“So far we have raised over £5,000 - but to be represented by a legal expert in Manchester we will need to double this.”

Now the group is hoping that local people will get involved in the fundraising drive, with events including a sponsored walk, a cabaret night, and rides in an open-top Morgan three-wheeler.

This Saturday, April 6, Phil Bleazey is offering rides from Lancaster to Jubilee Tower in his Morgan three-wheeler, which he describes as “the closest thing to flying, without an aeroplane”.

Ten rides are available in timed slots throughout the day for a donation of £20 to the campaign to save Freeman’s Wood.

Book in advance by calling Phil on 01524 849085 or email phil@woodenflutes.co.uk. In the event of cancellation due to mechanical breakdown or adverse weather, it will be rescheduled for Saturday April 20.

The following day, Sunday April 7, there will be a 5km walk from Freeman’s Wood to the bottom of Aldcliffe Hall Drive and back – starting on Coronation Field (Willow Lane) at 10.30am.

Friends of Freeman’s Wood secretary Emily Heath said: “You can either do it as a sponsored walk, or make a donation on the day, or just come along to enjoy our lovely countryside. We’ll have refreshments and local band ‘Burst Horns’ playing on Coronation Field at the end of the walk.”

More information, a sponsorship form and a link to the Freeman’s Wood crowdfunder can be found at www.freemanswood.com.

Meanwhile On Friday April 12 the group is hosting a benefit cabaret at Hornet’s Bar, off Willow Lane, featuring local bands Hiroshima Twinkie, Ruby in the Dust, #SASS and others.

The event starts at 7.30 pm and costs £5.

One of the event co-ordinators, Eleanor Levin, said: “It’s shaping up to be a great event – we’re really hoping that lots of people turn up to support us.”