From Wildlife Extra:
Lydd Airport approval is a disaster for bugs
Conservation charities dismayed by Lydd airport expansion plans
April 2013. Wildlife charity, Buglife – The Invertebrate Conservation Trust is extremely disappointed that the Government has approved the expansion of Lydd Airport in Kent. The neighbouring site at Dungeness is known to be home to a number of rare and endangered invertebrates including the Sussex Emerald moth.
Alice Farr, Buglife Planning Manager said “We have opposed these plans for a number of years due to the impact of the airport on Dungeness, a habitat of international importance. This decision is a clear signal from the Government that the environment is of low priority and could be an indication of future decisions on development that are still to be taken”.
Internationally important as the largest shingle foreland in Europe
Alice said “Dungeness is internationally important as the largest shingle foreland in Europe. The area is of national and arguably international importance for invertebrates; including the Medicinal leech (Hirudo medicinalis), the Sussex Emerald moth (Thalera fimbrialis) and significant bumblebee populations including the UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority Brown-banded carder bee (Bombus humilis). Developing the airport so close to this site will have a detrimental effect for invertebrates”.
Several other Biodiversity Action Plan species are present on the site, including the White Spot moth (Hadena albimacula) and Toadflax Brocade moth (Calophasia lunula).
Kent Wildlife Trust dismay
Kent Wildife Trust has also expressed dismay at the decision by the Secretary of State to grant planning permission for the extension of the runway and enlargement of the terminal buildings at London Ashford Airport, Lydd in Kent.
Sue Young, the Trust’s Head of Conservation and Policy, said: “We are dismayed at this decision on many levels. The unique wildlife at Dungeness could be damaged irrevocably. The area is internationally important for the huge populations of breeding and wintering birds and supports a tremendous number of rare plant and insect species, some occurring nowhere else in the world.
“The fragile shingle and open grassland habitats and the species they support are highly vulnerable; and whilst we are pleased to have secured agreement that the impacts of the airport development on these habitats will be monitored, we remain concerned that the damage will be irreversible.”
The Trust will now review the decision documents and work with partners to consider its next steps.
Sixty per cent of UK species in decline, groundbreaking study finds: here.
May 2013. The RSPB has issued a legal challenge to the Government’s decision to allow the expansion of Lydd Airport in Kent. The proposals – which will damage the nearby protected wildlife area of Dungeness – was given the go ahead in April by Eric Pickles, the communities and local government secretary, and Patrick McLoughlin, the transport secretary: here.
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