Thursday, 20 November 2014

Sites with wildlife interest vs. possible development sites

Further to the previous post, here's the Earlswood map of possible sites for future housing development alongside sites with wildlife interest:

In addition to the key on map:

  • Areas with dark green border are being considered for possible development.
  • Sites in light green have Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) designation.
  • Sites in yellow have Local Wildlife Site (LWS) designation - These are wildlife-rich sites selected by a panel of experts for their local nature conservation value. They can contain important, distinctive and threatened habitats and species. Their designation is non-statutory and their only protection comes via the planning system. They are not protected by law like SSSIs or National Nature Reserves. Further info here.
  • Sites in orange have potential Local Wildlife Site (pLWS) designation - These are sites identified by a basic habitat survey but awaiting a more detailed survey before being considered for LWS status.
  • The area with purple border is National Trust estate (The Old Moathouse), where there has been talk about possibly allowing public access to the fields and improving them for wildlife.
  • Sites in pink have no formal designation but in my opinion have some importance from an Earlswood perspective for birds, attracting species that are uncommon or rare in Warwickshire.

Fortunately none of the sites for possible development encompass a site with known wildlife interest. However E8 is situated very near to Clowes Wood SSSI and Terry's Pool and may have some botanical interest, so this is now being monitored by Earlswood Wildlife Partnership. I'm also concerned about E7, which adjoins both a hedge that annually attracts Redstarts on passage and a field with pLWS status, whilst the E7 site itself may also have some botanical interest. The five sites near the Common are of less concern, but E4 is on the Old Moathouse estate, where in the future management of the fields may possibly become the responsibility of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and possibly be opened up to the public.

Perhaps E3 may be the most suitable site because of its larger size and lower impact on the streetscene? However I've never really had a proper look at it.


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