A Yorkshire branch of an international environmental campaign group descended on a council meeting in York to protest about a development which could threaten a Site of Special Scientific Interest
Last night, Extinction Rebellion York processed through the city of York carrying giant, leaf-like lanterns, previously used in a visually stunning display at Askham Bog to raise awareness about protecting the area against harmful development plans.
The lanterns, each ranging between one and a half to two metres in length, represent the rare Royal Ferns that can be found at Askham Bog and were made by an arts team of all ages.
The environmental group made formal gifts of the lanterns to councillors to thank them for voting against housing development plans to build 500 homes near the site.
However, Askham Bog nature reserve remains under threat due to a public enquiry on the planning decision.
The group paraded the lanterns from York St John to the Citadel on Gillygate, arriving in time for the Full Council meeting at 6pm. Along the way, the procession will stop at Mansion House to present a lantern to Lord Mayor Coun Janet Looker.
Extinction Rebellion York has also offered lanterns to York Minster, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, both Universities, the Theatre Royal, the Museums Trust, and the railway station. Displaying the lanterns publicly across York is hoped to signal the city’s ongoing commitment to preserving biodiversity.
Andreas Heinemeyer, ecologist and Senior Researcher at the University of York, was set to address the council at the meeting to voice concerns over the threat to Askham Bog’s environmental diversity.