A MUSIC industry publicist who helped big names including U2 and David Bowie has shown his support for a campaign against the felling of a mixed woodland and wildlife habitat near Llansantffraid-Ym-Mechain.

Tony Michaelides has lent his support to a growing campaign to stop Tilhill Forestry from felling the 38-acre Garth Coppice woodland.

His support comes less than three days after the launch of an online petition which has already gained more than 1,500 signatures against the felling of the wood in under three days.

Tony, originally from Manchester but now living in Florida working as an online radio presenter and public speaker, played a pivotal role over a career spanning three decades in helping propel artists to international stardom.

Tilhill Forestry originally started felling the woodland in March, but Powys-based wildlife photographer Ellie Rothnie stopped the felling when she alerted Tilhill to the presence of nesting birds of prey directly in the felling area.

Tilhill had commenced felling operations despite such activity being contrary to best practice in relation to the bird breeding and nesting season according to guidance issued by trade body the Arboricultural Association.

The machinery and chainsaws are set to return in September to Garth Coppice and Tilhill plans to fell the entire site.

Tony joins a growing band of internationally renowned wildlife photographers and conservationists who are fighting to stop the felling.

He said: “My partner, Mary and I have spent many happy hours simply looking at the woodland and watching the wildlife.

“It is a remarkable place of amazing beauty and it is a travesty that the forestry company and the landowner want to fell the site.

“I may have made my life in America but if there’s one place on the planet I never tire of returning to it’s the Coppice and surrounding area.

“I’m intending to help by leveraging my contact book to drive international awareness of the campaign at a time when the conservation agenda has never been more important not just for wildlife but for human existence as a whole.”

Tilhill has been approached for comment.