Menehay Farm development – more wildlife – you cannot be serious!

Westcountry Land director Justin Dodge said: “We are aware of local concern for wildlife on the site and the desire to retain as much green open space as possible. The biodiversity will actually be enhanced by the development, especially with the substantial landscaping we have incorporated.

Developers frequently take the line that development on a site will have no impact on wildlife or biodiversity. Indeed it will enhance it!

Lets think about this carefully. The assertion that biodiversity will be improved is based on looking at current biodiversity on what is invariably farmlamd. Now its technically correct to say that most of the land will not be that diverse – its farmland after all.

But to argue that developing it will make it more biodiverse misses the point.

How biodiverse are most gardens? Not a lot. And these days with increasing densification theres little green space anyway.

As for more open space in developments? Well just travel around and look – most green spaces are trimmed, mowed areas of grass – not diverse at all.

And all the extra development has implications for land use elsewhere whether its increasing the land-take for roads, industrial development or for food production in far away places of which it seems we know or care little.

Land needs to be retained for agricultural use – we import rather a lot and there needs to be a policy framework of encouraging farmers and other landowners to increase the biodiversity of land they manage.


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