“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi .
Last spring I reported here that my neighbours from the farm behind ours had begun without warning, to remove the hedgerow, including the trees from the borders of the adjoining farm track.
Soon after, we learned they’d gained planning permission to turn their farm buildings into an industrial storage park; removing the hedgerow was an attempt to widen the track to accommodate the expected trucks.
The neighbours explained to us that as they were now seventy years old, they needed an extra income, and once the park was established they would sell up and leave. I understood the need for diversity, but this was appalling behaviour and considering our neighbour is an accountant and the farming was a side line, I couldn’t help thinking that provision for their later years must surely have been planned some years before.
The farm track runs alongside our driveway, inches from the children’s play area and one of our smaller paddocks, so you won’t be surprised to learn that the idea filled us with horror and disappointment. We were left to wonder why the council had seen fit to approve the proposal in a rural area such as ours.
To digress for a moment – A few years ago the same council gave permission for a landfill site at the bottom the neighbour’s field where it borders my land. The lie of the land changed completely and a natural stream on my land is now unable to flow, the area is permanently flooded and a large deep pond has now appeared.
The shocking news of the proposed industrial park prompted us to go to the expense of erecting a high fence around the children’s play area.
At the top of our driveway, a narrow lane (seen below) leads down to the village. A road sign at the end of the lane that was erected by the highways department, informs drivers that the lane is unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles. Also shown is the newly widened entrance to the farm track that runs alongside our driveway.
Recently, we heard that a change in the planning application had been submitted and permission has now been granted for five detached houses.
In the past, gaining planning permission for new housing has proved difficult in this area, however, given the amount of objections to the industrial park, I suspect the parish council, (very powerful here) has much do with this change.
I have no objection to this building project, after all the other option was unbearable to contemplate, but what I do object to is the renewed removal of the hedgerow as seen below.
I can understand taking advantage of a wider section to provide a passing point, but I cannot understand why the removal of the hedgerow has continued. My photos show that the track will never be wide enough to provide a two-lane street and as the oil tanker and refuse truck already manage perfectly well, further removal is unnecessary and nothing short of sacrilege
I am concerned for the creatures that have been displaced this week; only the other day I noticed a squirrel simply sitting without movement on the lower branch of a tree in the garden, not even attempting to steal the bird food from the feeders.
Our hedgerows are valuable habitats that provide food and shelter for many species and are massively important for wildlife. Birds and small mammals use the hedgerow for foraging, nesting and roosting and as a safe commuter route.
This is the start of spring, mating time, the time for pairing and nesting and it is heart breaking that so much of the habitat has been removed.
“With nectar-rich blossom in the spring, insects buzzing in the dense thickets in summer and red berries abound in autumn, hedgerows provide wildlife with a rich larder. In fact, they are so good for wildlife that 130 UK BAP (Biodiversity Action Plan) priority species are associated with them.
“Hedgerows are often a mix of shrub and tree species such as hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, ash and oak, interwoven with climbers like traveller’s-joy and honeysuckle. Banks and ditches fill with flowers like hedge bedstraw and red campion, and butterflies, such as the rare black and brown hairstreaks, purple emperor and pearl-bordered fritillary, use them for nectar or to lay their eggs.
Mammals like the European-protected hazel dormouse, bank vole, harvest mouse and hedgehog nest and feed in hedgerows, and bats, such as the greater horseshoe and Natterer’s bats, use the hedgerows. Woodland and farmland birds such as blue tit, great tit, yellowhammer and whitethroat can be found along the hedges.” ~ The Wildlife Trusts
© SueW-nansfarm.net 2018 In response to the word-prompt Wonder