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Tree protesters' celebration after they 'stopped the chop' in Newark Library gardens which would have paved way for London Road carpark extension



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"What have we done? Stopped the chop! What have we done? Stopped the chop!"

Those were the shouts of elation from the final four campaigners of the tree protest site after district council deputy leader Keith Girling announced a last-minute deal from the landowner had come about.

Although Mr Girling said the deal would have to be passed by full council, the last four — Wendy Patterson, Darrell Pointing, Pam Ball and Ali Carter — celebrated in absolute relief.

Fabulous Four! Left to right: Ali Carter., Wendy Patterson, Pam Ball and Darrell Pointing celebrate the news.. (53036741)
Fabulous Four! Left to right: Ali Carter., Wendy Patterson, Pam Ball and Darrell Pointing celebrate the news.. (53036741)

"We just can't believe it after all we've been through," said Wendy, 65.

"Last night was hard and cold and we didn't know how long we'd need to keep doing this for.

"To have this done today when we knew the trucks were already here and tree cutters just about to come in — you could see the workers lined up — it is just the best news."

NSDC deputy leader Keith Girling. (53037076)
NSDC deputy leader Keith Girling. (53037076)

Darrell, 75, said: "We asked police what the chances were of us being arrested tonight and they said 0% — that's when we thought something might be going on."

Pam added the support from the community had been absolutely awesome, and added: "It has brought the whole community together."

Darrell added: "And we're going to keep that together.

"We're going to keep campaigning. We've got a postcard campaign with a picture of how it (the green space) can be and how the council wanted it to be — asking people to vote for what they want."

Pam Ball, Wendy Patterson, Darrell Pointing, and Ali Carter awake from their night in the open. (53036748)
Pam Ball, Wendy Patterson, Darrell Pointing, and Ali Carter awake from their night in the open. (53036748)

Asked what they would be doing with their freedom, the four replied they would be celebrating with friends and family.

Holding back tears, Wendy said: "I'm going to let my friends and family know and especially my grand-daughter Isabelle who, as you know, has been on all these campaigns — we've won it for her.

"To be able to say 'you did that, you actually did that' — it's worth doing if you keep fighting."

They added they would, together, like to take down the first fence panel.

Meanwhile, when Mr Girling was making his announcement, protesters pulled a publicity stunt on the Beastmarket Hill roundabout.

Extinction Rebellion Newark and Sherwood joined the StopTheChop protest (53036265)
Extinction Rebellion Newark and Sherwood joined the StopTheChop protest (53036265)

Campaigners dressed the cavalier statue with Stop The Chop t-shirts and also put up signs.



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