Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Anxious Year Ahead

One of the frogs in my pond gearing up to breed.

Water vole footprints on the Edgeley Road side of the field near Grocontinental

Latrine from the same ditch
This should be a happy time - first proper field signs appearing, and spring getting ready to unfurl. But this year will be the one where the council decides whether to re-designate two wildlife-important fields from their current 'green space' status to 'for development'. It shouldn't even be a consideration.
Because not only does this have catastrophic implications for the water voles, it's extremely serious for the people of the town, too.
Currently this very marshy land soaks up water like a giant sponge. It's a natural storage or holding tank for the surrounding area. However, if these fields were to be drained and concreted over, and additional water from new household or industrial use added to our natural, often torrential levels of rainfall, the likelihood of many Whitchurch homes flooding looks like a cert.
And anyway, what developer would want to go to all the expense and time of getting in ecological experts to assess the land, trap all the voles, keep the voles safe while the houses are built, have ecological experts guide the developer to reinstate the water course to a standard where it was suitable for the voles to return? Which of course would have to be done by law.
I absolutely can't imagine a less suitable place for building. So you have to hope commonsense prevails here!


Dave said...

"So you have to hope commonsense prevails here!"

Me too.

Had to muck out our pond after the last frost - so we seem frogless in Gaza at the mo. I expect we'll get some incomers, though.

Kate said...

Have a look at this pond in Surrey: http://www.wildaboutbritain.co.uk/archive/showphoto.php?photo=153463
Now that's what I call spawning.