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More than 54,000 people back Broughty Ferry conservationist over Aldi hedge battle

Jeannie Cooper beside the Broughty Ferry hedge at the heart of the Aldi fight.
Jeannie Cooper beside the Broughty Ferry hedge at the heart of the Aldi fight.

Dundee supermarket bosses are coming under renewed pressure to save a much-loved urban wildlife spot from the axe.

More than 54,000 people have signed a petition urging Aldi to rethink its plans to fell trees and a hedge to make way for its new Broughty Ferry store.

The habitat runs along the A92 near Tom Johnston Road, where Aldi will build the supermarket.

Conservationist Jeannie Cooper began her struggle with the supermarket giant after planners approved its store plans.

She said the level of public support was “amazing”.

She has been struggling to get local politicians and a Scottish Government reporter to take up her case, she added.

“It is a brilliant number, but I am still trying to convert that into stopping Aldi.”

The habitat is home to great tits, song thrush, blue tits, swallows, rabbits, lots of insects and more.

She said the supermarket will destroy the habitat so drivers on the A92 have a good view of the shop from the road.

“I don’t think they have even thought about biodiversity. I think they have forgotten all about the hedge.

“It would be great if even a fraction of the people who have signed the petition would write to their politicians.

“But I am very encouraged that so many people are interested about keeping this.”

Who is Jeannie Cooper and why has she taken on Aldi in Broughty Ferry?

Jeannie has taught conservation at Elmwood College. She started visiting the site not long after she moved to Broughty Ferry in the late 1990s. She described it as one of her favourite spots for walking in the area.

Jeannie received online abuse after first making her stand against the supermarket giant.

Online trolls labelled her a “tree hugger” and told her to “get a job.”

She said: “I am not against the store. It’s the unnecessary loss of this local habitat.”

Anna Kellner.

St Andrews conservation student Anna Kellner started the petition after reading about Jeannie’s fight with Aldi to save the trees.

She said: “The human race has already destroyed too many natural landscapes and we can’t afford to lose any more.”

Aldi will begin building store towards the end of 2022. The supermarket plans to open it in 2023.

The company says it will create about 35 jobs and enable local people to shop closer to home.

An Aldi spokesperson said planners considered landscaping as part of the approved application.

He said the company would produce “further detailed designs” and would “carefully evaluate the planting schemes that will be implemented when the store is built”.

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