A campaign by a weekly newspaper to save a local forest from being sold off has been praised in Parliament by an MP.
The Teesdale Mercury launched its ‘Hands off Hamsterley’ campaign last week in a bid to keep full public access to the 2,203 hectare forest, which is the biggest in County Durham.
Under the campaign, a dedicated Facebook group has been set up and all letters of support from readers will be sent on to 10 Downing Street.
And the paper’s drive has now been praised by the House of Commons by Bishop Auckland MP Helen Goodman.
She said: “The inestimable Teesdale Mercury has launched a ‘Hands off Hamsterley’ campaign. I am calling on everyone who cares to come to Hamsterley Forest on 26 February for the ramble in aid of keeping Ministers’ hands off Hamsterley.”
Editor Adrian Braddy said the newspaper’s campaign had won the backing of its readers.
He said: “This is not a campaign to save the Forestry Commission, but rather a fight to retain full public access.
“Since launching the campaign we have been inundated with letters of support from readers.
“It was good of Helen to mention our campaign in the Commons. We worked closely with her during a previous campaign to save Bishop Auckland Hospital’s A&E department.”