LETTER: Development will destroy wildlife

I am writing to express some thoughts concerning the proposed housing and industrial development between Cromford Road and Middleton Road, Wirksworth.

I fully appreciate the need for more affordable housing in the area, especially for local young people, but will this development satisfactorily meet this vital requirement, or will the majority of it be prestigious properties to maximise the profits of the developers, among others?

This beautiful area is of considerable historical interest to many people with links to lead mining and quarrying with associated rail infrastructure.

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Its green credentials are also worthy of serious consideration, with ancient uncultivated pesticide and herbicide-free wildflower rich pastures attracting a multitude of insect species and other invertebrate life, forming the basis of a rich wildlife haven, with many songbirds and birds of prey, mammals, reptiles and amphibians present.

Although this type of habitat is fairly common in this area, though declining, it is nationally very rare with 97 per cent of native flower-rich grassland being lost to intensive agriculture, housing and industry etc in the last few decades.

Nationally this area is part of the last three per cent of such habitat left in the country, with ancient hedgerows and fine mature trees providing food and refuge for many creatures.

The buddleia-abundant lower part of the site is a vital resource for our ever depleting number of bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects, as well as providing insect prey for our disappearing bat colonies.

Can we really afford to lose this ancient, nature rich, nationally rare environment?

I sincerely hope not.

David Southam

By email