It's been a while since my last post but this is an important one! It has recently come to my attention that the local council is considering planning permission to turn a former paddock along Heath Lane Shenstone into a permanent site for Travelling Show People.
The proposal is to turn a former piece of pastoral land into a travelling show people site to accomodate 8 residential caravans, 10 touring caravans and 1 static caravan along with storage of equipment and vehicles and associated access parking and drainage works.
This is under consultation until 14th February 2013 and I have already raised my objections on the grounds of the impact that it will have on the local wildlife including Red Data species such as Corn Bunting, Grey Partridge, Skylark and Yellowhammer. I will also be writing to the local MP and attending the residents group meetings regarding this proposal.
Please read what I have to say in my statement below and if you dis-agree with this proposal can I urge you to go to the following link to the WFDC planning application, click on the comments tab at the bottom of the page and object to the proposal. The more people who voice their concern the more chance we have of being heard!
The Wildlife of Heath Lane (Shenstone near Kidderminster) and the impact of the proposed development of land there for use as a residential/touring caravan site for travelling show people
Over the last 6 years I have spent many hours observing and noting the wildlife on the arable land at Heath Lane, Shenstone and its surrounding Lanes. During this period I have undertaken a number of surveys of the birdlife of the area for the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology).
Heath Lane and the nearby Butts Lane and Stanklyn Lane are important areas within Worcestershire for some of the UK’s declining farmland birds including Red data species such as Corn Bunting, Grey Partridge, Linnet, Skylark and Yellowhammer.
The Corn Bunting is the biggest cause for concern as it is declining by huge numbers across the country. The Shenstone area holds the biggest breeding population of these birds in Worcestershire. With between c.60 birds present annually.
The proposed site to be used for the residential development is an area within close proximity to some of the breeding areas of Corn Buntings. The development and the proposed vehicular access could have a catastrophic impact on this fragile population!
Corn Bunting – Shenstone
The Heath Lane area is also is also an important area for migrant birds and is annually visited by a number of scarce passage migrants that stop off to feed before resuming their respective journeys. In 2012, the site of the proposed development was visited by both Ring Ouzel and Short-eared Owl. Other more regular passage migrants at the site include Common Redstart, Cuckoo, Merlin, Northern Wheatear, Whinchat and Yellow Wagtail.
The areas surrounding the proposed development site have also been visited by Black Redstart, Golden Plover, Quail and Stone Curlew during migration periods over the last 6 years.
In total 87 species of bird and 21 species of butterfly have been recorded along Heath Lane.
Notable mammal species recorded along Heath Lane include Badger, Brown Hare, Brown Long-eared Bat and Stoat.
Again, the impact from the proposed development on the aforementioned species could be disastrous!