Saturday, 11 May 2013

Alex Farm pastures (SSSI) ruined by offroaders

Alex Farm pastures close to Orlestone Forest are leased to Natural England. It is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) and its unique and rare wildlife should have had the highest law protection.

 Approximately 8 years ago a newly erected wooden gate, to secure the entrance to Alex Farm Pastures, was sawn in half with a chain-saw.

I never entered beyond the gate and had no idea the site was an SSSI. But those in professional nature conservation did, and in their words - "The pastures represent one of the best surviving examples in Kent of unimproved neutral grassland, a nationally rare habitat".

And so the gate hung, swinging in the wind for years, leaving the land beyond vulnerable to off-roading and shooting and it was only a matter of time before it was ruined.

 I'd estimate that 50% of the grassland has been destroyed..

..all it ever needed was a metal gate. Protection against off-roading in Orlestone Forest seems to be a half-hearted concern by the authorities. Signs and metal posts and bollards go up one year, and are down the next.

To the reckless off-roaders who do this damage, I doubt they feel any authority is going to stop them . . . I'm sure they'll be back.

All the site ever need was a metal gate to prevent the trashing of a rare and unique site.


Martin Richmond-Coggan said...

Hi N ick, I'm with you all the way on this. I walk past here multiple times a week and despair at the damage caused.


Amela Jones said...

Do you subscribe to any other websites about this? I'm struggling to find other reputable sources like yourself

Off Roading Leicester