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8:00am Thursday 21st June 2012 in Letters
Sir – The chairman of St Margaret’s Area Society is still accusing the Friends of the Trap Grounds of ‘restricting entry’ to the Town Green (Letters, June 14). What nonsense!
This well-used site already has two public entrances, one from the canal towpath and another (at the opposite corner) along the school fence. Burgess Field, broadly similar in purpose but many times larger, has only one usable entrance for most of the year. Yet no one accuses the city council of ‘restricting entry’ there.
Here’s a suggestion: if SMAS are so keen on enhancing access to the Trap Grounds from the south, they could encourage the county council to improve the permissive path along the school fence, widening it, with a simple wooden footbridge at the southern end. Then we would all be happy.
This area supports a precious range of legally protected wildlife, including lizard, slow-worm, grass snake, bullfinch, reed bunting, song thrush, to mention just a few. I see them regularly.
What is more, at this time of year the woodland is a riot of birdsong and all summer the meadow is awash with wildflowers and buzzing insects. Is all this of so little value, Dr King?
The necessary balance between human access and wildlife conservation is a delicate one. The Friends are passionately committed to both.
Over the past 60 years the UK has lost 97 per cent of its wildflower meadows (The Oxford Times, May 31). We have less woodland than practically any other country in Europe. And wetland (beautifully accessible inside the Town Green) is perhaps most precious of all. Yet apparently to Dr King these are simply ‘irrelevant wildlife issues’.
Alan Allport, Chairman, The Friends of the Trap Grounds