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Manics Star Is Rooting For Forest - Daily Mirror, 6th March 2000

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Title: Manics Star Is Rooting For Forest
Publication: Daily Mirror
Date: Monday 6th March 2000
Writer: Jason Lamport

Welsh rock star Nicky Wire has become a Manic TREE Preacher by joining the battle to save a woodland beauty spot.

Manic's bass guitarist Nicky, 30, is backing a campaign to stop a pounds 25million road slicing through the forest he used to play in as a child.

His older brother Patrick, 34, yesterday told of the "emotional bond" between Nicky and the 18th century St David's wood in their home town of Blackwood, Gwent.

Poet Patrick, a father of four, said: "We spent endless summers there.

"The wood was very close to our house and we had to walk through it every day to get to school.

"It was like a miniature world to us and we fuelled our imaginations there dreaming up ghosts, monsters and legends.

"It was unique to find such a luscious, green wood in the heart of a heavy mining community.

"Now they want to rip its heart out and replace it with a concrete jungle. It's a disgrace."

The wood was also popular with the other members of the Manic Street Preachers, who all went to Oakdale comprehensive school next door.

The plan for the two-mile link to a nearby business park is backed by Plaid Cymru-controlled Caerphilly County Borough Council.

But more than 1,400 objections have already been lodged.

Nicky's mum Irene Jones, 62, who told him of the plans, said: "The woodland is shown on maps from the 1700s and is a breathing space for Blackwood."

Campaigner Ken Davies, a 70-year-old retired miner, said: "It is great Nicky and Patrick have shown an interest in our battle.