View of open fields - Eastern Urban Development Extension
Open Quote

The hedgerows of West Manley Lane are afforded protection under the Hedgerow Regulations 1997... this importance relates to the botanical diversity of woody species and the association of protected and / or rare species of animals

Devon Wildlife Consultants Report 2009

Open Quote

Tiverton Grand Canal and its environs with its walking and cycling leisure opportunities is of great importance giving pleasure to locals and tourists as well as providing biodiversity and economic benefits for the local community

Devon Wildlife Consultants Report 2009

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August 2021 Update

By WMLCG - posted Aug 2nd 2021 at 8:15PM

Who could argue with Byron: “the English winter-ending in July to recommence in August”?

Attention switches from the chimera of Masterplan B to the activities at the top end of the lane where, on 28th July, the great and the good thrashed out 21/00881/MARM…watch this space.

Meanwhile, ‘official holes’ in the hedgerows north of Pool Anthony Farm, appeared, under the watchful eye of an on-site ecology steward. The odd beer can and mixed detritus were noted but nothing of significant environmental interest. These temporary gaps (v.i.) allow for the ‘construction of the drainage outfall to two attenuation ponds’ (see correspondence of WMLCG  regarding 14/00881/MOUT Land at NGR 297768 112843 West Manley Lane 23 July 2018). 

This will necessitate the closure of WML twixt Pool Anthony and Blundells Road from 3rd to 13th August (or so DCC Highways and Alun Griffiths Ltd notifications assure us). The stopgap wire fencing provides a back drop for a variety of advisory, warning and informative notices both in English and Welsh! We are assured that the gaps in these hedges will be replaced under a biodiversity net gain (see gallery).

That said, The Times of July 24th  2021 carried a letter from, amongst others, CPRE,RSPB, Wildlife Trust and Greenpeace on “Hedgerow Heroes”, from which I quote: “hedgerows are the unsung heroes of our countryside. They are icons of our landscape, steeped in history, providing a haven for wildlife while absorbing carbon emissions The hedgerow network, in its expanse is our largest nature reserve…it is estimated that more than half our hedgerows have been lost since the Second World War … the Climate Change Committee recommend extending the hedgerow network by 40 per cent by 2050… now is the time for ministers to show real leadership by committing themselves to this target, while restoring our hedgerows to develop a more resilient, beautiful and biodiverse countryside”. Why not begin with TEUE?  

Referring to the previous  entry, the pot holes get even bigger, the bracken more intrusive and the Head of Planning remains in post, but on the positive side… a large cache of Grass Snake eggs has been encountered and left safe and Slow Worms are numerous.

Adding to this year’s  limited odonata list are Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Southern Hawker, Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies; lepidoptera numbers remain small, with only Silver-washed fritillary, Gatekeeper and Large and Small Skipper being added to the list by end of July.

On the mammal front Red Fox in numbers, Badger and the very occasional Roe Deer are being recorded, along with Pipistrelles and Noctules and the inevitable Grey Squirrel.

Amongst the recent ornithological records, although Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Treecreeper have had a successful season, another year goes by without a Willow Warbler record for the lane; whilst at the opposite size, Ravens are becoming increasingly common on the large oaks. Unfortunately, there have been no sightings of either the leucistic Blackbird or Barn Owl since mid- July, leaving us with just the fecund Tawny Owls.

Perhaps it’s time for another year list?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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