Helen Bach: We must save this wildlife haven

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Would you be surprised if I told you there was an area very near Corby that was home to 85 protected and notable species?

It has great crested newts, badgers, bats, red kite and grass snakes – all species protected by law.

Not only that, there’s a white stag and his herd.

In some cultures, white stags are considered lucky, and people travel from miles around in the hope of getting a glimpse of them.

It’s considered very unlucky to harm them too.

There’s lots of other wildlife also, including bumblebees, hedgehogs, lizards, dragonflies, damselflies, crickets, grasshoppers, butterflies, toads, frogs, rabbits, foxes and spiders.

There are numerous ponds, some containing the aforementioned great crested newts, as well as smooth newts, fish, frogs and aquatic insects.

It’s composed of a large area of trees, with species including significant stands of broadleaved varieties – oak, hazel, sycamore, poplar and elder – and coniferous trees including Scots pine, Corsican pine, European larch and Norway spruce.

Between the rows of conifers, there are more oak trees, and ash, birch and beech. Lots of varied grasses and other plants also.

You wouldn’t be surprised to hear it’s a designated Local Wildlife Site, would you, given I’ve listed all of the above.

But you would perhaps be surprised to discover that the area I’m talking about is Brookfield Plantation, the same area that is under threat from plans to build a ‘resource recovery park’.

About 50 hectares of trees – including some oak – will be destroyed if this scheme gets planning permission.

Most of the information I’ve listed above is taken from the new documents the developer’s agent has submitted to Corby Council (the information about white stags I discovered last year when researching an article).

The same information that local people opposed to the scheme were told wouldn’t be available on line, but could be seen either in person at the council offices during office hours by appointment or could be bought from the developer’s agent for £10.

Public pressure and the intervention of Cllr Rob McKellar saw Corby Council chief executive Norman Stronach overturn this decision, and also extend the deadline for objections.

So, people of Corby and the surrounding villages, now it’s your turn.

Please take the time to read the documents – now freely available on the council’s website – and let Corby Council know your objections by February 21.

Unless, that is, you’re happy to lose trees in this Local Wildlife Site and have them replaced by concrete...

Read more from Helen here.