European Green Capital failing to protect its Wildlife & Urban Green Spaces

Thriving Wildflower Meadows and Protected Species amongst wildlife set to be destroyed under revival of old plans
By: Friends of South Purdown
June 25, 2015 - PRLog -- 2015 European Green Capital, Bristol, is failing to protect its highly valued Urban Green Spaces and thriving wildlife havens with both South Purdown and Frome Valley under imminent threat from development.

South Purdown, a corridor of Natural Green Space, and recently registered as an Asset of Community Value, joins Muller Road with Stoke Park in North Bristol, and is home to much of Britain's native wildlife, including bats, slow-worms and hedgehogs. With native wildflower meadows in the UK seeing dramatic decline, leading to a loss in habitats for vital pollinators and small mammals, South Purdown’s wildflower meadows provide a much needed habitat for these creatures.

The space, which is used for many community events such as the monthly “Big Purdown Picnic” and educational sessions including bat discovery nights and children’s wildlife walks has been regularly targeted over the past 10 years by Bristol City Council and Fairfield High School, who wish to level and fence off the space to improve sports facilities for the school.

Local residents are angry about the propositions, and state that although there is an understandable need for sports facilities for schools, Muller Road Recreational Ground is a well underused space and already has the facilities needed. Fairfield High School’s website states that these Recreational Grounds are “just 5 minutes walk away” and are already used for some of the schools sports clubs at evenings and weekends.

“Named as European Green Capital, we would expect huge efforts to be in place to protect as much of our vital landscapes as possible, and would think that both the school and Council would want to support this too. Our ever diminishing urban spaces are vital to locals for health and recreation – this is a hugely used space for running groups, dog walkers and children – and this is yet another example of the façade of being a green capital masking the real agenda’s of our Council,” commented William Smith, local Lockleaze resident.

The community, wildlife groups and conservationists have been fighting to save South Purdown for over 10 years when planning permission was first granted. Although planning permission should have expired after 3 years, both South Purdown and Boiling Wells were joined into a single planning application and so South Purdown has been subject to an unusual “ever open” permission for development.

A public meeting is being held on the 30th June, 7pm at Eastville Library which will discuss the developments impact on wildlife, local recreation, planning changes and associated issues. Labour Councillors Estella Tincknell and Gill Kirk invite other councillors, local residents, businesses, journalists  and those associated with the school to attend and join in the discussion.

FOSP Bristol
Source:Friends of South Purdown
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Tags:Environment, Wildlife, Conservation, Development, Green Capital
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