Village camp site plan falls foul of birds

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PROPOSALS for a camp site in a woodland glade on the edge of Sheffield could be rejected tomorrow (Friday) because it would disturb the birds…

Up to ten tents would be pitched near Low Bradfield, within the Peak District boundary, between March and October in what the applicants say is an attempt to offer sustainable tourism in part of the national park where there is an under provision of camping facilities.

But the scheme has fallen foul of Peak Park planners who are worried about the effect on birds in and around the woodland and at nearby Agden reservoir.

Concerns are also being raised about the possible loss at some stage in the future of surrounding woodland, which is not owned by the applicant, which would expose the camp site and affect views.

The Peak Park authority’s planning committee will tomorrow consider the application for a location to the north west of the village, off a road called Windy Bank.

Members are being told that there would be a composting toilet block in one corner of the field, screened parking for ten vehicles and landscaping to reinforce the existing screening effect of surrounding woodland.

A manager would be on site every day during the season and tents would be dismantled during the winter. There would be no on-site office or equipment store, with premises being rented in the village.

“The applicant is keen to attract environmentally conscious guests to the camp site because of its green ethos,” says a report to the committee.

Peak Park officers accept that the location is well away from neighbouring properties and is in an area where small camping and caravan sites may be appropriate under policy guidelines.

But they believe the impact on habitat would present too much of a risk to important bird species. Campers on and around the site could disturb the birds and their breeding.

Among species that could be affected are the lesser spotted woodpecker, linnet, spotted flycatcher, wood warbler, cuckoo and song thrush.

“Agden reservoir lies immediately east of the site. The reservoir itself is a key ecological area and a South Yorkshire site of biological interest and is important for bird populations including breeding birds that use the margins of the reservoir, such as the common sandpiper.

Other protected animals have also been recorded in the past within the woodland and the site may be of value for reptiles.”

In addition food and litter could attract predators such as foxes, squirrels and crows, it is argued.