Cornwall Village Campaigns to Save Wildlife Sanctuary from Future Development
A village in South East Cornwall is trying to fund £ 50,000 in the space of a week to save a wildlife refuge from further development.
The four acres of wetlands and woodlands on Seaton’s waterfront will be auctioned off next week, but campaigners want them preserved as public green space.
The parish council and local supporters only have one week to fund enough money to buy it – and so far they are around £ 30,000 short.
Mark Gibbons of Deviock Parish Council said: “As a small rural parish council with no huge funding available to us, we decided that the best solution was to involve the public.
“Our goal at the end of the day is to ensure that the public has a say in what happens to this plot, we are in an environment in Cornwall, we share a problem that many other villages in Cornwall are suffering from, which is a lot of development and interest in the land.
“So when a plot of this size of wildlife forest became available, we decided that we would do everything possible to raise money to participate in the auction. “
Ecological consultant Paddy Saunders says the land has great environmental significance. He said: “It’s small, it’s only four acres, but in this small patch there is a range of pretty open and undisturbed habitats and because it has had very little management, they have developed large and wealthy communities. “
Laura Done is president of the residents’ association which wants the community to have access to the land. She said: “We are concerned that the land is not being brought to the market for potential speculative investment, which is not what it should be.
“It should be a green space appreciated by the community – a community of genuinely concerned and active residents, but also a large number of tourists.”
Cornwall Council owns the Countryside Park which borders the 2 auction plots. He says that the land for sale has certain protections does not exclude future development.
Councilor Armand Toms said: “The land in question has a number of designations.
“If people wanted to cut down trees or the like that they have tree preservation orders, the land has an environmental designation and all of these factors should be considered very carefully in any planning process.”
The auctioneers estimate that the two lots could fetch up to £ 80,000 on 4 November. Campaigners hope they can at least get one – if they hit their fundraising goal.