Rugby wildlife campaigner concerned for kestrels and bats at development

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A wildlife campaigner is concerned for the welfare of kestrels and bats at a development in Rugby.

Ray Harris is desperate to protect wildlife on land in Castle Mound Way.

But Equites Newlands (Rugby) Limited got the go ahead from Rugby Borough Council to build a warehouse.

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Ray, who works at Continental Tyres which is adjacent to the land, said: “I’ve seen nesting birds and bats breeding there so it shouldn’t be allowed to go ahead.

Ray is concerned for wildlife in Rugby.Ray is concerned for wildlife in Rugby.
Ray is concerned for wildlife in Rugby.

“I have been here eight years; a family of kestrels have been here seven years and another pair arrived last year. In the summer they fly very close over my head.

"When it’s quiet in the winter they fly off squawking at me as if to say goodbye. The male kestrel stays with the nest over the winter period.

“I’m very compassion for the birds and bats.”

Ray has written to Rugby MP Mark Pawsey, Rugby Borough Council, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and the RSPB asking for guidance.

“It’s really upsetting me,” he added.

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“I feel like I’m the only one caring and trying to save the bats and birds.”

A spokesman for Rugby Borough Council said: “Neither Warwickshire County Council’s ecological unit or Rugby Borough Council’s arboricultural officer raised objections to the approved planning application, which was supported by both a Bat Survey Report and Ecological Appraisal.

“The Bat Survey Report found the site was ‘not exceptional for bat activity’ and ‘not considered to be significant’ in terms of habitats where bats forage for food. Bats have full protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017.

“The Ecological Appraisal found small numbers of farmland birds nesting in hedgerows which form the boundary of the site, which conditions attached to the planning permission protect.

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“The appraisal also included research on historic sightings of rare animals within one kilometre of the site going back 20 years. No sightings of birds of prey were reported during this period. However, all wild birds, nests and eggs are protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.”

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