Police launch probe into claims faculty hedgerow residence to nesting and fledgling birds in idyllic market city was illegally chopped down

Police have launched an investigation into claims a faculty hedgerow in an idyllic market city was unlawful chopped down. 

The destruction of the greenery has left native residents in Newbury, Berkshire, ‘devastated.’ 

Working alongside Park Home College’s taking part in fields, the sizable hedgerow was residence to wildlife together with fledgling birds. Nonetheless, over the half-term break, contractors eliminated the crops so a brand new fence could possibly be put in. 

Many locals consider the choice might quantity to an unlawful act – as a result of it might have contained nesting birds.

Beneath the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 – the legislation that protects nesting birds and their eggs – it’s unlawful to deliberately harm or destroy a chicken’s nest whereas it is getting used or constructed.

Working alongside Park Home College’s taking part in fields – the sizable hedgerow was residence to wildlife together with fledgling birds. Nonetheless, over the half-term break, contractors eliminated the crops so a brand new fence could possibly be put in

Friends of the Earth Newbury members Graham Forde and Susan Millington. Dr Millington said: 'What's left is a scene of devastation. 'A few isolated torn trees and lots of litter on bare ground is all that remains of a beautiful mature hedge'

Pals of the Earth Newbury members Graham Forde and Susan Millington. Dr Millington mentioned: ‘What’s left is a scene of devastation. ‘Just a few remoted torn bushes and plenty of litter on naked floor is all that continues to be of a wonderful mature hedge’

Newbury’s Inexperienced Celebration parliamentary candidate Steve Masters was knowledgeable by a number of locals concerning the hedge elimination and he reported the incident to the police.

‘It was fairly severe when it comes to it being in the course of nesting season,’ he mentioned.

‘Destroying a hedge isn’t essentially unlawful in and of itself, the destruction of energetic nests is.’

Thames Valley Police confirmed that the power had acquired a wildlife crime report.

A spokesperson mentioned: ‘A hedgerow with nesting and fledgling birds inside was taken down in Sutherlands someday between 9am on Might 27 and 7pm on Might 29.’

Susan Millington is the coordinator for Pals of the Earth Newbury, an area environmental group, and mentioned she was outraged to find the hedge had been destroyed.

Dr Millington mentioned: ‘What’s left is a scene of devastation.

‘Just a few remoted torn bushes and plenty of litter on naked floor is all that continues to be of a wonderful mature hedge.

‘I’m utterly appalled on the timing, peak chicken nesting season.

‘There may be little doubt that the size of hedge destroyed by their contractors contained many energetic chicken nests, and can have sheltered many different species too.’

Dr Millington contacted Park Home to get an evidence, and headteacher James King acknowledged that the varsity was ‘equally saddened to return to high school and uncover what has occurred to the hedge’.

The school's headteacher James King stated that the school was 'equally saddened to return to school and discover what has happened to the hedge'. Mr King added that the removal of the hedge was never included in the school's plans

The college’s headteacher James King acknowledged that the varsity was ‘equally saddened to return to high school and uncover what has occurred to the hedge’. Mr King added that the elimination of the hedge was by no means included within the faculty’s plans

Thames Valley Police confirmed that the force had received a wildlife crime report. A spokesperson said: 'A hedgerow with nesting and fledgling birds inside was taken down in Sutherlands sometime between 9am on May 27 and 7pm on May 29'

Thames Valley Police confirmed that the power had acquired a wildlife crime report. A spokesperson mentioned: ‘A hedgerow with nesting and fledgling birds inside was taken down in Sutherlands someday between 9am on Might 27 and 7pm on Might 29’

Mr King added that the elimination of the hedge was by no means included within the faculty’s plans, and that the varsity had waited for planning permission to put in the brand new fence with the intention to keep away from damaging the present greenery.

What’s the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981?  

This laws protects wild birds and different animals in England and Wales. 

The legislation protects wild birds and their nests – making it unlawful to deliberately disturb them whereas nesting. 

It additionally protects endangered species, resembling pink squirrels, in addition to widespread animals like foxes.

Licenses may be issued to landowners to allow them to take actions towards animals for particular causes. 

The laws additionally makes it unlawful to launch non-native species into the wild.  

In Scotland, the Wildlife and Pure Atmosphere Act 2011 covers the identical areas.

Supply: RSPCA  

He supplied an announcement from Park Home’s contractors Barker concerning the hedge works and fence set up it carried out and the way it could be endeavor work to rectify the harm induced.

The assertion learn, partly: ‘Safeguarding of the pupils and employees at Park Home College is our prime precedence within the work we do there.

‘Sadly, the present low-level chain-link fencing alongside the boundary of Monks Lane didn’t present enough safety for the pupils at Park Home College, elevating severe issues about unauthorised entry to their web site.

‘This left us with no possibility however to interchange this boundary totally with new full-height safe fencing.

‘Throughout this course of, we consulted with an accepted arboricultural consultancy as we have been dedicated to retaining the bushes and as a lot of the present planting as attainable.

‘Nonetheless, as works commenced, it grew to become obvious that the part of established hedging had grown entwined throughout the present chain hyperlink that was to be eliminated.

‘Consequently, we made the reluctant choice to take away this hedging.

‘We’ve plans to reinstate it on the earliest attainable alternative to supply screening for each the pupils and residents, in addition to to take care of valued pure habitats for birds and wildlife.’

A number of locals have taken to social media to criticise the hedge elimination.

Russ Shackleton mentioned: ‘I simply do not perceive why this was accomplished.

Several locals have taken to social media to criticise the hedge removal. Russ Shackleton said: 'I just don't understand why this was done. The hedge was a secure boundary for the school and it gave a lot more privacy than that ugly fence'

A number of locals have taken to social media to criticise the hedge elimination. Russ Shackleton mentioned: ‘I simply do not perceive why this was accomplished. The hedge was a safe boundary for the varsity and it gave much more privateness than that ugly fence’

‘The hedge was a safe boundary for the varsity and it gave much more privateness than that ugly fence.

‘It’s a must to query the effectiveness of the governance of the multi-academy belief certainly. How most of the board have been to that faculty?’

Lynn Beasant mentioned: ‘It is a whole shame. No have to take away a hedge in any respect, not to mention in nesting season.

‘In the event that they wanted a fence up it might have gone within the hedgerow in the event that they actually wanted to comprise the children that badly.’

Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Lee Dillon additionally took to Fb to put up concerning the hedge, stating: ‘The lack of this hedgerow is such a disappointment for nature.’

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