The Forestry Commission, New Forest NPA and the Verderers are spending EU money infilling Forest streams and destroying protected wildlife.
What our case is about
The case is about the ecological damage being caused by the engineering works on highly protected species and habitats. In addition the justification for these projects is extremely questionable with substantial evidence of serious adverse effects on the biodiversity of large areas caused by previous failed restoration attempts.
Why this case matters
The Verderers of the New Forest, The National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission have formed a partnership and obtained significant funding running into millions of pounds from the EU to 'Restore' wetlands under the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme which is an Agricultural subsidy meant to help British farmers, The partners described the whole New Forest National Park as a 'farm' in order to claim this money but it has turned into a massive engineering project infilling many streams with waste products in a misguided attempt to restore them, despite their having a wonderful biodiverse habitat supporting many of our rarest and most protected wild species.
The Forestry Commission have just submitted a Planning Application for Latchmore Brook, 3 miles from Fordingbridge, to carry out major works involving 7 km of the stream and importing nearly 100,000 tonnes of infill material.This area is an SAC, SPA, RAMSAR and SSSI site and thus should be afforded the highest level of protection but the New Forest National Park Planning Authority has not refused any of the previous Planning Applications for these engineering works, as it is one of the partners of the scheme.
The Forestry Commission still uses the same methods for each new project despite substantial evidence of serious adverse effects on the biodiversity of large areas caused by previous failed restoration attempts.
It's not just the fragile ecosystem which is at risk, but there are also precious archeological sites as well as significant geological areas, not to mention the serious knock-on effect the works will have on tourism and local businesses as well as the lives of local residents - massive tipper lorries each carrying in excess of 30 tonnes of material will be driving down narrow Forest lanes, putting the lives of the ponies and cattle at risk, as well as walkers, horse riders and cyclists, not to mention the potential for structural damage to properties adjacent to the planned routes.
How you can help
We need your help to stop what Sir Desmond Swayne MP calls 'state-funded vandalism'
We are crowdfunding to pay for legal representation and expert opinions to mount significant legal challenges and if necessary to support a possible Judicial Review. We hope to challenge the legality of whole scheme and require the Authorities to put a stop to interference with balanced ecosystems on this massive scale.
By raising £15,000 we are able to continue instructing our top firm of solicitors, Richard Buxton, who specialise in environmental and public law issues. They have already carried out some preliminary work on our case and believe it has a good chance of success, and this funding would enable them to not only build a substantial case, but to call on external expert opinion as necessary.
We hope that when others read of what we are trying to save and what we are up against they will be generous in their support - this is undoubtedly a David and Goliath battle since we are facing the considerable forces of Government organisations.
About the claimant
I live in the New Forest and love its unspoilt beauty and precious wildlife. I am a fish vet and one of my delights when walking or riding around this brook, Latchmore, is to see brown trout, Sea Trout and even eels and, if I'm really lucky, the blue flash of a kingfisher or a beautiful Southern Damselfly....
- one of the most iconic and beautiful streams in the New Forest will be irreparably damaged
- the Forestry Commission have just submitted a Planning Application to the New Forest National Park Authority
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We have to keep fighting on to save our streams and habitats
Despite information from members of the Board of Natural England that there is to be a review of Wetland Restorations in the New Forest, we have yet to have formal notification of this.
As a result our lawyers are preparing to take the next steps to try to halt this Planning Application and also any associated works going ahead.
Unfortunately this means that we will still need a substantial fighting fund so will be seeking further donations from our generous supporters.
We hit our first target!
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