Wildlife haven at risk if development built, say Royston campaigners

A yellowhammer in the field Gladman wants to develop, Picture: David Hatton

A yellowhammer in the field Gladman wants to develop, Picture: David Hatton - Credit: Archant

Fields that have been deemed a ‘wildlife haven’ by Royston campaigners are at risk of losing their biodiversity if a housing development gets the green light.

Royston Says No to Gladman campaigner Ray Munden captured a fox in the field that is proposed to be

Royston Says No to Gladman campaigner Ray Munden captured a fox in the field that is proposed to be developed on. Picture: Ray Munden - Credit: Archant

The Royston Says No to Gladman group is pushing on with their campaign against the land agent’s plans for up to 99 homes to be built on land south of Echo Hill.

The fields are next to Wicker Hall reservoir and bridleways 13 and 14 – close to Therfield Heath.

A male great spotted woodpecker in the Royston 'wildlife haven'. Picture: Ray Munden

A male great spotted woodpecker in the Royston 'wildlife haven'. Picture: Ray Munden - Credit: Archant

They are urging residents to think of the badgers and foxes roaming there every night, with brown hares, muntjac deers and a host of small mammals regularly present, 58 species of birds recorded and numerous flowers and invertebrates.

Nick Beale, a wildlife expert and conservation ranger, said “We are lucky to have these fields on Royston’s boundary with their wonderful biodiversity. It would be a tragedy to lose them, especially as, with Therfield Heath under so much pressure, it provides a quiet refuge from disturbance.

A short-eared owl in the Royston field. Picture: Martin Johnson

A short-eared owl in the Royston field. Picture: Martin Johnson - Credit: Archant


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Also at the site, campaigners have reported that red kites peer down during the day searching for carrion to eat and bats quarter it at night picking off unwary moths. Twelve red listed species of bird – a drop of 50 per cent – including skylark, lapwing and grey partridges have also been recorded in the field.

The campaigners’ rallying cry is: “Don’t let us lose it, make your voice heard.”

A pair of red-legged partridges on the land Gladman want to build on in Royston. Picture: David Hat

A pair of red-legged partridges on the land Gladman want to build on in Royston. Picture: David Hatton - Credit: Archant

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Gladman has previously told the Crow they would not comment on the application.

For more information on the Royston Says No to Gladman campaign, including how to get involved, go to www.roystonsaysnotogladman.co.uk or join the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/rsntgladman

There is a badger trail across a field that could be built on in Royston. Pictured here is a badger

There is a badger trail across a field that could be built on in Royston. Pictured here is a badger entering a garden from the field. Piture: Dave Bubbins - Credit: Archant

A buzzard flying over the Royston field. Picture: David Hatton

A buzzard flying over the Royston field. Picture: David Hatton - Credit: Archant

A ommon lizard in a garden next to the field Picture: Emily Atterton

A ommon lizard in a garden next to the field Picture: Emily Atterton - Credit: Archant

There is a badger trail across a field that could be built on in Royston. Pictured here is a badger

There is a badger trail across a field that could be built on in Royston. Pictured here is a badger entering a garden from the field. Piture: Dave Bubbins - Credit: Archant

There is a badger trail across a field that could be built on in Royston. Pictured here is a badger

There is a badger trail across a field that could be built on in Royston. Pictured here is a badger entering a garden from the field. Piture: Dave Bubbins - Credit: Archant

There is a badger trail across a field that could be built on in Royston. Pictured here is a badger

There is a badger trail across a field that could be built on in Royston. Pictured here is a badger entering a garden from the field. Piture: Dave Bubbins - Credit: Archant

There is a badger trail across a field that could be built on in Royston. Pictured here is a badger

There is a badger trail across a field that could be built on in Royston. Pictured here is a badger entering a garden from the field. Piture: Dave Bubbins - Credit: Archant

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