This article builds on our earlier post setting out the green case against Shapley Heath. We have been inspired by new research that shows the red list species that are found in Winchfield. New analysis shows that 26 of the 67 bird species on the RSPB Red List have been spotted in Winchfield parish.
Clearly building 5-10,000 houses in the Shapley Heath area will endanger these important species. Hart Council’s survey about Shapley Heath focuses on biodiversity as a key issue. It is mentioned in questions 19, 20 and 21. However, they fail to mention the damage that a new community will do to the existing ecosystems and the threatened species found there.
This seems odd given that Hart has its own Biodiversity Action Plan. But it seems they haven’t kept up to date with their promised monitoring reports. The Council even has a page dedicated to biodiversity that promises to
[Set] targets for biodiversity achievement in planning, site management and monitoring and education and awareness
Having read the rest of this article, you might like to respond to the Shapley Heath survey. This is your chance to make known your concerns about the proposals. We have produced a handy guide with suggestions as to how you might choose to answer the freeform questions. The guide can be found on the download below. The full survey can be found here. The survey closes on 5 July.
Winchfield Notable and Protected Bird Species
The current Winchfield Neighbourhood Plan (WNP) shows on p47 the notable and protected species identified by the Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre (HBIC).
This shows a total of 64 different species.
RSPB Red List
The criteria include population decline and contraction in breeding range. Clearly, building all over the Area of Search will contract the available space and may well kill-off the local population of these birds. The red list contains 67 different species.
Shapley Heath Endangers Red List Birds
By cross-referencing these lists, you can see the red list birds that make their home in Winchfield.
This list contains 26 different species. So, nearly 39% of the species on the red list have been found in Winchfield parish. It would be an act of pure malice to destroy the habitat of these important birds.
Mammals Need Protecting Too
The WNP (p44) also says that Winchfield is home to five species of bats. All species of bats are protected in the UK.
Winchfield is also home to brown hares.
Hares are protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. They are also a Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework. Surely a council committed to biodiversity wold not put these important creatures at risk.