Further measures to protect wildlife on St Mary’s Lands in Warwick could be implemented

The proposed changes follow consultation with the St Mary’s Lands Working Party and an assessment by an independent ecologist

Tuesday, 3rd November 2020, 4:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd November 2020, 4:46 pm
St Mary's Lands sunrise by Jon Holmes

Plans to implement further measures to protect wildlife on St Mary’s Lands in Warwick are due to be discussed this month.

Warwick District Council’s Executive is set to discuss proposals to change the hours of model aeroplane flying on St Mary’s Lands.

The proposed changes follow consultation with the St Mary’s Lands Working Party and an assessment by an independent ecologist.

Model aeroplanes on St Mary's Lands in Warwick. Photo provided by Warwick District Council

The adjustments are part of a package of potential measures being considered to protect bird nesting sites on St Mary’s Lands during the breeding season.

Alongside plans to alter the flying hours, the Council is seeking approval to consult over the installation of temporary barriers during the nesting season to prevent ground nesting birds being trampled and disturbed.

The initiative forms part of the Masterplan for the Warwick open space to protect and enhance the site’s value to our native wildlife.

This year has also seen the successful introduction of a wild flower area to provide a crop suitable for bird feeding and the creation of four wetland areas.

Cllr Moira-Ann Grainger, Warwick District Council’s portfolio holder for neighbourhood services, said: “Our parks and open spaces have never been a more important for our health and well-being.

"Over the past few years and in particular during the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been very pleased to see an increasing number of local people enjoying this unique and versatile open space, be it for dog walking, running, golf, football, model aircraft flying or wildlife watching.

"The proposals to protect bird nesting sites during the breeding season are a key part of balancing our commitment to encouraging nature and biodiversity whilst continuing to improve public access.”

Lizzy Bradbury from a Warwick Wildlife Group said: “As local birders and wildlife enthusiasts, we are delighted that Warwick District Council is looking to continue protecting declining ground-nesting birds on St Mary's Lands.

"There needs to be a balance between public access and protecting wildlife, so it is reassuring to see the local council addressing this.”

The council said that the proposals being put forward will not affect any footpaths or public rights of way.

Warwick District Council is due to hear the proposals at their Executive meeting on November 17.