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Letter to Devon CC re. Marley Road

Here is a copy of the letter sent from Exmouth Wildlife Group to DCC

Dear _______ (sent to the DCC ecologist)

At the end of last week, I heard about the destruction at Marley Road and I have since been to have a look for myself. During the research phase of building a 'Neighbourhood Plan' for Exmouth, it was found that local residents placed 'The Natural Environment' as their first priority. The NP was voted on and accepted by the people of Exmouth in 2018.

The Natural Environment certainly includes the geology and landscape but it was clear that our urban wildlife is very highly valued too. In our NP, there is a requirement to protect green corridors. The work that has recently been carried out at Marley Road is completely contrary to the spirit of the Neighbourhood Plan and many local residents will be appalled at what has happened there. Who knows how many hibernating hedgehogs, possibly even dormice, other small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, overwintering bumblebees and other invertebrates have been needlessly destroyed here by bringing in heavy machinery ?

Marley Road is a no-through road for motor traffic but is used by walkers, cyclists and wheelchair users who very much enjoy the peace of a traffic-free area full of birds and other wildlife. Some occasional light touch maintenance is all that is required along this lane.

It is clear that the countryside is no longer full of wildlife in the way it once was. However, there is some evidence that threatened species such as hedgehogs and bees are doing better in urban areas than in rural areas where, in fact, they have almost disappeared. Because of this evidence and the enthusiasm of our town for the natural environment, Exmouth Wildlife Group was set up to gather data and specifically to protect our urban wildlife.

We believe that wildlife-rich green spaces and corridors in urban areas are vitally important for the wellbeing of both people and wildlife.

On a wider scale, how many more of these special places can we afford to lose in our drastically nature-depleted country?

I absolutely realise that it was not your decision to carry out this 'maintenance' but I am asking, on behalf of Exmouth Wildlife Group, if you would forward this email to whoever was responsible so that they know this work was carried out counter to the expressed wishes of the people of Exmouth.

See Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan The Natural Environment and in particular

p. 36

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