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Published on Jan 22, 2014
Secretary of State for the Enviornment, Margaret Beckett MP speaks about skylarks, brownfield sites and Derby City Council's foresight in protecting a small piece of rare bird habiat in the centre of Derby, England. Opened in 2004, it won two environmental awards in 2005, and was formally declared a 'Local Nature Reserve' by the Council in 2006. But . . .
. . .Ten years later, Derby Council changed its mind. In 2014 it applied to itself for plannning permission to use lottery and government money via British Cycling to build a pay-to-race cycle track on top of the very grassland habitat The Sanctuary was intended to protect. Over 40% of the site's key bird biodiversity features will be destroyed or damaged, and around 20% of the 12 hectare site will be lost if the plans are giiven approavl by the Labour-controlled Council. (Check comments for updates after Feb 2014..
Species whose habitat is under threat include breeding Skylark, Lapwing and Reed Bunting, whilst many birds stop over in winter or in spring, including Wheatear, Ring Ouzel, Stonechat, Whinchat. Snipe, Jack Snipe, Fieldfare, Redwing and many more.
BBC presenter and envirornmental campaigner, Chris Packham, called their plans "A vile act of wanton vandalism", and destruction of a formal LNR goes againast all natioonal and local plans.