CPRE Bedfordshire battles to save almost 1km of field hedgerows

16th July 2020

CPRE Bedfordshire joins Pertenhall & Swineshead Parish Council and a local Action Group in their effort to stop a local farmer from destroying around 800 metres of field hedgerow in Swineshead.

Update 20th July 2020 We are delighted to be report that Bedford Borough Council has refused permission for the removal of all hedgerows specified in the application. A retention notice has been issued.

 

Find out why CPRE Bedfordshire got involved with the campaign below:

We called on Mayor Dave Hodgson and Bedford Borough Council (BBC) to remain true to their principles of encouraging a massive increase in biodiversity and working towards a Zero Carbon future as laid down in The Mayor’s recent announcement of “Action to Help Birds & Bees” released only a few days ago on 30th June 2020.

CPRE Bedfordshire wholeheartedly supports the Bugs & Bees Action Programme to encourage the regeneration of biodiversity in the Borough through initiatives to plant more trees and wildflower areas across Council owned and managed land.

 

In our response to the Swineshead planning application we outline the key areas for consideration by BBC:

 

Hedgerow protections

The hedgerows referred to in the application are “important” hedgerows under the terms of Hedgerow Regulations 1997 and contain species identified under Schedules 2 and 3 of The Regulations. They should therefore be protected from removal.

Biodiversity

The application is contrary to Local Plan 2030 policies designed to ensure that biodiversity is both protected and enhanced during the course of any proposed development.

 

Landscape Character

The application is contrary to the Local Plan 2030 policy on Landscape Character. This requires that development will protect and enhance the key landscape features and visual sensitivities of the landscape character areas as defined in the BBC Landscape Character Assessment (LCA).

The area in question is the Riseley Clay Farmland and the LCA specifically states:

The overall Landscape Strategy is to … “conserve the open rural landscape with its scattered small scale settlements and farmsteads ….. while enhancing the elements of the landscape which are in declining condition … in particular the hedgerows and hedgerow and field trees…

 

We have submitted a full response to the planning application which can be read here:

SWINESHEAD Application 20 01140 HDG 3 July 2020

 

Read more about hedgerows

Countryside is key: the top five ways the countryside can tackle climate change

Crafting the countryside: a hedgelayer’s life

 

 

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