Suspect Ecology

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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



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12 Replies to “Suspect Ecology”

  1. As much as I would like to see all future development stopped, and the open spaces and wildlife left alone, I accept that the population is growing and accommodation must be built to house them. So the way that I feel should taken is one of compromise, a meeting halfway, between builders and the faction that want to keep the Peninsular as it is.
    We need to preserve the history of the Peninsular and sympathetically build to the needs of the Peninsular and not just to dormatorize the Peninsular to supply London with workers.

  2. After meeting with the elm avenue developers today, Cllr Jean Fray and I have got assurances that the ancient pond at elm ave which had previously had some infill damage will be cleaned and returned to its pre development glory. And the frog and toads ancient home will be safe for ever.

  3. The way they judge an area of land is completely unrealistic!
    Having an area of land for 37 years I know only too well how endangered wildlife rarely show themselves. Being surrounded by a plethora of indigineous animals including many endangered species I know first hand how, although these creatures maybe rarely seen, does not mean they are not there!!!
    In all the years I’ve been at the field, visiting daily2-3times a day I have only seen the waterholes a handful of times but they are always there!
    There are shrews, weasels, woodpeckers, owls, bats, egrets, cuckoos, varying birds of prey , badgers and many many more varied wildlife. In all the years I have been there I have never seen the badgers, only found a dead one, I have seen a weasel twice, shrews, twice, bats only spring and summer, cuckoos obviously only come to the Peninsula spring to summer and so on.
    We seriously need to encourage support from the public and any authorities to implement rigid, realistic, real RULES that are adhered to!

    1. we need to protect and conserve our unique Peninsula and to do so we must engage with all the people of the Peninsula, we are but caretakers of our environment and the rich natural heritage and have a duty to future generations.

  4. How long does the temporary halt last for? How do developers keep getting away with this? Well done to the lady for spotting this and to you for getting the halt.

    1. Karen I meeting with the developers on Friday and hope we can agree a permanent solution to saving this pond

    1. Thanks for your comment,
      Unfortunately I have a full day booked tomorrow but would be ok on Friday after 11.30 if you’re available?

  5. Absolutely with you on this one. Developers seem to be using any means they can to sidestep the ecological responsibilities which should be inherent in developing open countryside, which had never been permitted until the changes in planning laws. We need to be one step ahead.

    1. Thanks Maggie, this is something I have really strong views and firmly believe that we must put a robust challenge at the start of any application for inspections to happen more than once and the protection of our natural heritage and access to open spaces are a top priority

    2. thanks for your comment Maggie, we need to protect our natural heritage and access to open spaces from developers who will try anything to get their plans through and we must ensure that ecological surveys are taken different times throughout the year to ensure we offer the very best protection of our unique for future generations.

    3. Well said Ron and Maggie, these developers think they can ride roughshod over us and once they have completed their quest, it’s often too late to do anything about it.

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