Press release: Local artist captures destruction of Hastings wildlife site

March 16, 2016 by combehavendefenders

Emily Johns drawing, surrounded by security guards, Hollington Valley, 14 March 2016Press release
Combe Haven Defenders [1]
Wednesday 16 March

Contact 07565 967 250

Photos:
Emily Johns drawing, surrounded by security guards: http://tinyurl.com/hsaxs4m

Treefelling in Hollington Valley: http://tinyurl.com/j5ys92d
LOCAL ARTIST CAPTURES DESTRUCTION OF HASTINGS WILDLIFE SITE

Natural England to investigate allegations of breach of wildlife licence by Seachange Sussex

A local artist captured the ongoing destruction of the Hollington Valley Local Wildlife Site this week, as roadbuilders arrived to fell trees in preparation for the building of the planned Queensway Gateway road. Treefellers moved in to remove more woodland from the site last Monday (14 March), despite the planning permission for the road being the subject of an application for judicial review. There was a heavy security presence, with a large number of security guards attempting to stop local residents from taking photographs of the work.

Artist Emily Johns [2] has been documenting Hollington Valley over the last eighteen months and will be holding an exhibition of her drawings in May [3]. She said, ‘I am horrified and saddened at the further damage to one of our most precious local green spaces. Over the many months that I have been coming to Hollington Valley, I have spoken to dozens of local residents who use this area and who are devastated by what is happening to it. It is particularly disturbing to see the total disregard which SeaChange appears to put on protecting wildlife, and the strong-arm tactics used against anyone, including myself, who attempts to document what is going on. We are at a time in history when protecting the environment, and reducing carbon emissions, has become crucial to our survival, and to be building new roads at this time is the height of madness’.

In other news, Natural England is investigating claims that developer SeaChange Sussex has breached the terms of the dormouse licence it has been issued, by undertaking clearance work without an ecologist present [4]. Local residents have also claimed that the work was carried out in the opposite direction to that specified in the licence, thus driving any dormice in the area away from, rather than towards, Hollington Valley.

Hollington Valley Local Wildlife Site is described in its designation report [5] as ‘one of the best wildlife habitats in the Borough’ and an ‘invaluable and irreplaceable habitat of excellent quality and an asset for the people of Hastings to enjoy’.


Contact 07565 967 250

NOTES
[1] www.combehavendefenders.org.uk

[2] http://emilyjohns.org.uk/

[3] Details to be confirmed

[4] Natural England (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/natural-england) is the government body responsible for protecting England’s wildlife and landscape. They are currently investigating an allegation by a local resident that SeaChange has breached the terms of its dormouse mitigation licence

[5] https://combehavendefenders.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/hollington-valley-snci.pdf – page 43 onwards

%d bloggers like this: