A petition in protest at plans for a motorway service station at Smithy Wood near Chapeltown has attracted 6,000 names.
Organisers are urging more people to express their opposition to the scheme submitted by Extra MSA for the land near M1 junction 35 before the city council deadline of May 16.
Led by the Woodland Trust, about 100 members of environmental and residents’ groups gathered in the woods to underline their opposition.
Extra MSA say they will compensate for the loss of woodland, but campaigner Oliver Newham said: “Newly planted trees will never recreate the same type of habitat as an 850-year-old woodland and the developer’s proposals are misleading in terms of the community woodland they plan to create, the vast majority of which already exists!”
The services would create up to 250 jobs.