Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Water Rail at Thompson Water, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Wayland Wood, Norfolk. Another proposed development in Watton which will impact negatively on this nationally important site.


WAYLAND WOOD  (The impact of  further development of the Thetford Road (Gladmans) upon Wayland Wood and its wildlife).
 
With exception of Sherwood Forest and Selwood, Wayland Wood is the oldest wood in England, it is one of the largest broad-leaved woods in Norfolk, and is county-wide, and nationally important for its flora and fauna. 
Wayland Wood was formerly in the ownership of the De Grey family, however, in 1975 the wood was sold to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.
Although there are many fine ‘standard’ trees in Wayland Wood such as Oak and Ash, few are of considerable age as many were felled for use in various wartime efforts.  The oldest trees are in fact the coppiced Hazel and Ash, the root systems of which are many centuries old.
Wayland Wood is also vitally important for ground covering plants such as Anemones, Bluebells, and Orchids, however, it is also home to the very rare Yellow Star of Bethlehem and Wayland Wood is the only known site in Norfolk where this species grows.  

BIRDLIFE
Wayland Wood is the home to a year-round variety of bird species.  Spring and Summer sees Warblers, Tits, Finches, Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Treecreepers, and Tawny Owls all breeding.  The woodland floor is the home to breeding Woodcock, a declining species, also Nightingales visit in some years.  Perhaps the rarest of all species which occurs in the wood is the Willow Tit, now a very rare bird in the UK.
During the winter months the woodland floor sees an increase in Woodcock numbers with birds from Europe staying to seek shelter and feeding.  Being a woodland floor specialist, the Woodcock is very susceptible to disturbance.
Thrush, Tit, and Finch numbers increase in the winter months with birds visiting to seek warmth, shelter, and feeding.   

OTHER WILDLIFE
Mammals which live in Wayland Wood include Roe Deer, Muntjac, Red Fox, Voles and Mice, and Long-eared and Pipistrelle Bats.  Grass Snakes are also regularly seen in the wood.  The ground living requirements of most of these species once again highlights their susceptibility to disturbance.

EFFECTS OF FURTHER BUILDING ON THE THETFORD ROAD (GLADMANS) SITE UPON WAYLAND WOOD
I am a member and volunteer with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and over the years I have seen how the increased population in Watton has significantly and negatively impacted upon Wayland Wood, and indeed, other nearby sites of interest.
I have been previously been responsible for rubbish clearing at Wayland Wood, I would often leave with a black bin bag of rubbish from the car park area.  The increased population has seen an increase in fly-tipping with items discarded becoming larger, a poor reflection upon the human species in the area.
The main points to be raised of how further development on the Thetford Road site will impact on Wayland Wood and its wildlife are as follows:

  • Noise
  • Light pollution
  • Increase in fly-tipping
  • Increase in dog walking (not allowed in Wayland Wood due to the sensitivity to disturbance of ground-dwelling species)
  • Negative aesthetic impact upon Wayland Wood
  • Disturbance to Wildlife (especially ground dwelling and nesting species)
Wayland Wood has been in existence for some 10,000 years, it is a tiny fragment of what was formerly known as the ‘Wildewood’,  woodland so vast that it covered the whole of the UK.  The wood has been the home to numerous woodland species over the millennia with only recent times seeing undo pressures being placed upon the wood and the species therein.
Wayland Wood and its wildlife hosts must remain free from further pressures, including building on the Thetford Road site, as it is clear that any further development will have an irreversible impact upon this nationally important site.

I have included two photographs of illegal fly-tipping at Wayland Wood, both from February 2015.  Such illegal activity will be an ongoing concern if Watton continues to development at this unprecedented pace.
Wayland Wood (Feb 2015) An example discarded matresses.  Such unacceptable behaviour will increase with increasing population.
 

An unwanted fridge-freezer in Wayland Wood (Feb 2015)  Sickening behaviour by mindless idiots.
 
SAY NO TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE THETFORD ROAD (GLADMANS) SITE, AND PROTECT WAYLAND WOOD FROM THE GREEDY DEVELOPERS WHO HAVE NO CONCERN FOR THE IMPACT OF DEVELOPMENT UPON WILDLIFE AND THEIR HABITATS.

PLEASE MAKE OBJECTIONS TO BRECKLAND COUNCIL PLANNING AND STOP THIS POORLY THOUGHT THROUGH DEVELOPMENT.

3 comments:

  1. Surely the NWT are going to object to this development in the strongest terms...
    link to application again please, Paul...
    as an NWT lifer, I can write from that angle myself...
    and I'll get my bro' to object also...
    he is currently doing photographic work in Breckland...
    not exactly do I know who for...
    but he is a landcape/natural history photographer...
    the Ely to King's Lynn "Flyer" has his photgraphs all down one side...
    probably told you that already.
    All strength to you...
    Tim

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Tim
    Here are the details of the proposed development which lies just 1/10 of a mile from the Wayland Wood boundary.
    If you need to access the site, search for Breckland Council Planning and select Search Applications
    Many thanks once again for your support with this.
    Paul

    Reference
    3SR/2014/0008/SCR

    Status
    EIA not required

    Proposal
    Residential Development of up to 200 Dwellings

    Location
    Land Off Thetford Road Watton

    Parish
    WATTON

    Case Officer
    Gary Hancox

    Received
    26-09-14

    Validated
    26-09-14

    Decision By
    17-10-14

    Decided
    16-10-14

    Applicant
    Gladman Developments Limited Gladman House Alexandria Way Congleton Business Park Congleton CW12 1LB

    Agent
    Gladman Developments Limited Gladman House Alexandria Way Congleton Business Park Congleton CW12 1LB

    ReplyDelete
  3. Within the past week, it has been reported that the developer who had applied to build on this site in question has had the said application refused. No doubt the developer will appeal, therefore, our fight will continue I am sure.

    ReplyDelete