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8:00am Thursday 14th June 2012 in Letters
Sir – Although my letter about the Trap Grounds (May 31) focused attention on a hole in the fence, the Friends of the Trap Grounds (FOTG) persist in raising irrelevant wildlife issues (Letters, June 7).
The ‘derelict urban’ Town Green (Hambler 2004) has no nature reserve status. The lengthy DEFRA booklet on Village and Town Greens (2010) fails to mention wildlife at all. The reed beds which lie beside the Town Green are a Local Wildlife Site but are largely inaccessible.
Overemphasis on the value of the Trap Grounds wildlife may have allowed the FOTG to raise money for its defence. The suggestion by some naturalists who live elsewhere that the site has reached its maximum human carrying capacity for wildlife is ludicrous. So the FOTG had no basis for a protest.
The paradox of the FOTG campaign has surely not been lost on your readers. To achieve Town Green status, the FOTG claimed that many locals had used the site for recreation for 20 years. Now they wish to restrict entry for the same locals because it was really the wildlife which should have had preferential treatment. Poachers turned gamekeepers? The opposition to the proposed southern entrance by those living in the nearest houses is also extreme NIMBYism.
It reminds one of the Cuttleslowe Walls, when owner-occupiers tried to prevent contact with the disadvantaged on the other side. The city council ultimately demolished the last barrier in 1959.
Dr Tim King, Chairman, St Margaret’s Area Society