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The Thornborough Henges


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."
moss Posted by moss
9th March 2009ce

Comments (3)

Thanks for the post Moss, Thornborough is a great site and should be better protected than it is. I note that Tarmac are now using the "preserve jobs" sympathy card, despite the fact that all their plans pre-date the current economic situation and were always about profit, not safeguarding their employees. thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
9th March 2009ce
Yeah - many thanks for reporting on this. Unfortunately there's not much news about Tarmac's action in the media or updates on the Friend's website: (which is fair enough as they're fighting hard to save the henges!).

It's funny that elsewhere in the UK there are pretty major protests and direct action against quarry/gravel pit extension on environmental grounds but not at Thornborugh. Given growing civil discontent (!) we will see action if work starts?? Would be good to know....

Posted by simoncollister
15th March 2009ce
There is an enormous irony in all this, think its about 35 jobs that are on offer, so 'preserving jobs' is a load of hogwash Sweetcheat... When it was first proposed by Tarmac, our dearly beloved 'environmentalist' Dr.David Bellamy gave his approval to a wetland scheme see this....,

That scheme set up by the quarrying companies started the ball rolling on destroying the landscape round the henges, that we should arrive at a point in time, when the birds may have to be destroyed because they cause a 'hazard' to flying planes brings it round in a neat circle of how money and bullshit always win the day....
moss Posted by moss
16th March 2009ce
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