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Leach Fields entrances blocked

Leach Fields fencing pulled aside
Leach Fields - access blocked (click here for larger image)

Bulldozers have been used to pile earth and brambles against the various access points to Leach Fields.

Earlier this morning, one of the metal fences, erected by the developer Leach Homes to prevent people walking through Leach Fields, was damaged.

Two fences were erected yesterday, one on Bluebridge Road and the other at the northern entrance from Moffats Open Space.

Now, workers have reinforced the barricades in an effort to stop trespassers.

The future of the area has been uncertain since the turn of the year after Leach Homes refused to extend the lease on the land, which had been rented by Gobions Woodland Trust (GWT) for use as a nature conservation area for the benefit of wildlife and people.

Wildlife site protection bid

An oak in Leach Fields
An oak in Leach Fields (click here for larger image)

A number of local residents have written to the council this morning requesting that a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is placed on the mature oaks and elms in the Leach Fields, part of Wildlife Site 150.

The letter claims that the elms are probably unique in Hertfordshire.

According to one of those to write, "the reason for the urgency is that Leach Homes has just begun sealing off entrances to the fields and begun excavation work."

The images show the trees that the author feels need protecting. If you share these concerns you can express them by contacting:

Elms in Leach Fields
Elms in Leach Fields (click here for larger image)

Development Control Section
Welwyn Hatfield Council
The Campus
Welwyn Garden City
01707 357000
Email Welwyn Hatfield Council.

There are also concerns about other wildlife issues.

Leach Fields fencing pulled aside earlier today
Leach Fields fencing pulled aside earlier today (click here for larger image)

Leach Fields are part of the Moffats Meadows wildlife site, WS150, as designated in the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council district plan.

They have been part of the regular surveys of butterflies that recorded such rare species as the White Letter Hairstreak.

Grass snakes, a protected species, have also been recorded, along with more than 100 species of native grasses and flowers,

A pond in the north west corner of Leach Fields has been cut into, and two footbridges linking the area with Gobions Open Space and Gobions Woodland have been removed.

You can discuss the Leach Fields in this site's forum.

24 March 2009

Related News
Bid to save protected trees - 24 March 2009
Developer blocks Leach Fields - 23 March 2009
Leach Fields lease ends - 21 December 2008

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