Homes plan at Welwyn Garden City nature reserve 'Would be a crime'

PUBLISHED: 07:03 30 January 2009 | UPDATED: 21:47 26 October 2009

Peter Oakenfull with Dr Rupert Read and Berenice Dowlen

Peter Oakenfull with Dr Rupert Read and Berenice Dowlen

BUILDING houses next to a nature reserve containing rare and endangered species 'would be a crime'. That was the message from a wannabe MEP, who is standing in this summer's European election for the Green party. Dr Rupert Read visited WGC as part of his

BUILDING houses next to a nature reserve containing rare and endangered species "would be a crime".

That was the message from a wannabe MEP, who is standing in this summer's European election for the Green party.

Dr Rupert Read visited WGC as part of his "listening tour" around the region, meeting residents and discussing their concerns.

He was accompanied by Green parliamentary candidate for Welwyn Hatfield Jill Weston, as they visited The Commons Nature Reserve in WGC.

They met with members of The Commonswood Nature Watch, which manages the site in partnership with Welwyn Hatfield Council.

The reserve, home to some of Britain's most endangered mammals and birds, could be under threat after developers Lafarge Aggregates announced plans to build 4,000 homes on nearby farmland.

Dr Read praised reserve warden Peter Oakenfull and members of the nature watch.

"Over the years, Peter and his colleagues have made the reserve into a real haven for many species of bird and mammals that have been suffering serious national declines," he said.

"It would be a crime to destroy these wonderful results by building houses in such an inappropriate location."

Commonswood Nature Watch has organised a public meeting on the issue for 8pm on Tuesday, February 17, at Howlands Baptist Church in The Commons, WGC.

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