Last Friday I received a phone call from a very upset lady in Chattenden. She was devastated that developers working on the Old Arethusa site were filling in an ancient pond renowned for its Frogs and Toads that many of us enjoyed over the years and have taken our children to visit time after time.
Cllr Jean Fray and I met with the developers on site and managed to temporarily halt the filling. We are now having discussions with the developer and the planning dept.
I believe that the Ecological surveys being undertaken by developers are lacking and short cuts are common place. The statutory authority require all necessary ecological surveys to be complete before the granting of planning permission. However, some ecological surveys can only be undertaken at specific times of the year. This seasonality means that to be done properly the survey should be carried out over one complete season at the very least. This would ensure wildlife, flora and fauna are fully understood and the necessary protection applied .
I believe there is a case for Parish Councils having their own expert to carry out ecological inspections or a representative officer who can inform surveys of the local wildlife knowledge.
We have a duty to protect our environment and natural heritage for the benefit of future generations. So much has been lost already.
Research by scientists at WWF and the Zoological Society of London found that the number of wild animals on earth has halved in the past 40 years, according to a new analysis. Creatures across land, rivers and the seas are being decimated as humans kill them for food and development in unsustainable numbers, while polluting or destroying their habitats,
The steep decline of animal, fish and bird numbers was calculated by analysing 10,000 different populations, covering 3,000 species in total. This data was then, for the first time, used to create a representative “Living Planet Index” (LPI), reflecting the state of all 45,000 known vertebrates