Brookfield Plantation site in Corby important, says botanist

The Great Crested Newts found at Brookfield Plantation

The Great Crested Newts found at Brookfield Plantation

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The under-threat Brookfield Plantation in Corby is an important site for rare flora and fauna.

That’s the opinion of Brian Laney, the Northants County Recorder for reptiles and amphibians.

Botanist Mr Laney visited the site, off Gretton Brook Road, in May and found and photographed many items of great interest.

Among his findings are rare and protected great crested newts.

A planning application is currently before Corby Council to create a waste recycling plant which the developers, Gretton Brook Estates, say could result in more than £100m of investment and create 800 jobs during construction and about 3,000 once it is operational.

The council had been due to make a decision on the plans last month but this was delayed when a revised package of information was submitted by the developers.

Mr Laney said: “Corby is a good area for great crested newts because of the old quarries that are found there.

“Great crested newts – which are fully protected by British and European law, including their breeding sites – need fish-free ponds and quarry pools in which to breed.”

Mr Laney also discovered an example of Scabiosa Columbaria (small scabious) which is classed as a Northamptonshire rare plant register species, and will in due course be added to the Northamptonshire Rare Plant Register on the BSBI (Botanical Society of the British Isles) website.

He also found Ophioglossum Vulgatum (Adder’s tongue) which is not very common in the county.

Mr Laney added: “The derelict quarries are very important for wildlife.

“I have been trying to get on as many of these derelict quarries around Corby as possible because sadly many, if not all, will be destroyed by housing etc.

“It would be great if Brookfield Plantation was saved.

“The quarries that remain around Corby are extremely important.”