Fate of flock of birds holds up quarrying
ONLY a flock of birds is standing in the way of the extraction of 1.1 million tonnes of sand and gravel from a quarry extension near to the Neolithic Thornborough Henges in North Yorkshire.
Permission for Tarmac to extend the quarry at Ladybridge Farm at Nosterfield north of Ripon was granted by North Yorkshire County Council in August, but outstanding details included approval of a Bird Management Plan.
It is required because the site is within eight miles of RAF Leeming – the Tornado and Hawk fast jet base at the side of the A1 – where there are fears of a bird strike involving flocks of geese or gulls.
Archaeologists have described Thornborough Henges as the Stonehenge of the North and an action group is claiming support from the RSPB in its attempt to stop the extension, which is within a mile of the henges.
The Friends of Thornborough Henges claim that the Bird Management Plan would deter the birds which the after-use of the quarry as an environmental wetland sought to attract. Shooting, flying of birds of prey and egg-oiling to prevent breeding are all proposed to minimise large flocks.
The Friends said farmland birds in their thousands had been recorded on the site in their thousands and there would be a detrimental effect on the Nosterfield Nature Reserve.
RSPB Conservation Officer Harriett Dennison said it had concerns about the Bird Management Plan.
A decision on the Bird Plan was delegated to the council's environment services director and planning committee chairman. Friends' spokesman Dick Lonsdale said: "It looks as though the whole thing will be decided by two people behind closed doors."
A Tarmac spokesman said the proposed quarry extension at Ladybridge was needed to preserve jobs. "It has been agreed that it will not harm the Thornborough Henges."
Posted by moss
9th March 2009ce