Northumberland Wildlife Trust is urging members of the public to support its appeal to fund a new Wildlife Guardian position within the organization. Making a donation to the appeal will help pay for the preservation of some of the region’s precious green space which might otherwise be lost.
Launching the appeal, Steve Lowe, Head of Conservation at the Trust, said: “We need this extra help because of the sheer volume of work. Just to give an example, one single planning application arrived in a crate. And our workload is increasing massively.
“In 2011, nature lovers throughout the UK had to contend with the proposals to sell off a number of forests and cull badgers, major delays with designating Marine Protected Areas and a revision of the basic safeguards that protect the country’s most precious wildlife sites for development.”
There is now a presumption in favour of development in the proposed new planning system which could result in destroying huge areas of Green Belt land and Local Wildlife Sites. Locally, the cumulative impact of development on wildlife is catastrophic.
The One Core Strategy for Newcastle Gateshead is proposing to develop 36,000 houses up to 2030; North Tyneside Council has a further 12,00 planned up to 2027 and whilst plans have not been released for Northumberland, it is likely that they will increase pressure on the coast.
Added together, the scale of development will remove significant green corridors and destroy the green feel of many neighbourhoods.
Similarly, in 2011, Northumberland Wildlife Trust received over 50 wind turbine applications for Northumberland. Whilst the Trust recognises that wind farms can make a major contribution towards reducing climate change impact, it also knows that they have the potential to affect wildlife in a number of ways.
Collisions with high flying creatures such as bats, migrating birds and birds of prey are a huge problem especially when turbines are inappropriately sited and large-scale energy schemes can require major alterations to rural road networks, creating major barriers for the movement of wildlife.
The wildlife charity is uniquely placed to fight to conserve wildlife and green spaces in the region, but it cannot do the extra work without money. With the economic crisis seriously affecting all sources of funding, it is urging the public to support its appeal to appoint a new Wildlife Guardian to its conservation team.
The new Wildlife Guardian role will consider significant planning applications for housing development and wind farms and liaise with and advise local community groups on campaigns.
Steve continued: “Please help by supporting our appeal with whatever you can afford to give. We understand that it is a difficult time for many people to donate to charity but we feel if we don’t react right now, important green space will be lost forever.”
Anybody wishing to support the appeal can:
- Log on at www.nwt.org.uk, click on the ‘How you can help’ page and make a payment
- Telephone Northumberland Wildlife Trust on: 0191 284 6884 and donate over the phone
- Post a cheque made payable to Northumberland Wildlife Trust and mark the back ‘Wildlife Guardian Appeal’