Plea for public to respect a Buckley nature reserve after ‘series of bike jumps’ constructed in special conservation area
A local environmental charity is calling on the public to respect a special conservation area in Buckley after a “series of illegal bike jumps and tracks” have been constructed at the site.
Knowle Hill nature reserve in Buckley was designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 2002 and has been a Special Area of Conservation since 2004.
The site is home to a nationally important population of great crested newts and is protected by law however, there has been some damage to the conservation area and police are investigating.
Wild Ground has managed the Lane End and Knowle Hill Nature Reserves in Buckley since 2010, the sites support the largest population of great crested newts, with counts of over 1,300.
Due to enormous declines in range and abundance in the last century, the great crested newt is strictly protected by British and European law which makes it an offence to: kill, injure, capture or disturb them; damage or destroy their habitat; and to possess, sell or trade.
Following complaints by members of the public, Wild Ground staff and volunteers visited the site to investigate the issue.
“The damage to the site and some of the subsequent social media content relating to the issue has been reported to Natural Resources Wales and North Wales Police who are investigating the situation.” A spokesperson said.
“It is unfortunate that this situation has occurred.”
“We hope to work with residents and provide interpretation on the site, so people understand the potential damage to the newt’s habitat.”
“This will hopefully help prevent future occurrences and users will respect the site and its wildlife.”
“The Knowle Hill Reserve is managed for nature but is also open to the public to enjoy walking the various footpaths.”
“In the three years before Covid, on average, Wild Ground organised 26 events with over 450 attendees per year on the Lane End and Knowle Hill Sites in Buckley.”
“All sessions were free to attend and were provided especially for children and families over the school holiday periods and to schools during term time.”
“Wild Ground also run wildlife walks for all age groups throughout the year. ”
“In the same period dedicated volunteers contributed on average over 1,000 hours of work over nearly 50 sessions each year, maintaining the sites. ” The spokesperson added.
[Photo: Sam Warrenger]
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