New tram will ‘cut through nature reserve’

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Kimberley’s proposed tram extension poses a serious threat to nature, the Wildlife Trust has warned.

Following the announcement that Broxtowe Borough Council is set to contribute £20,000 towards a feasibility study into extending the Tram system through Kimberley, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust (NWT) has voiced concerns that the potential effect on nature could be significant.

The proposed route on the old Midland railway would pass through the reserve at Kimberley and Watnall Cuttings.

The conservation charity said the site provides a vital corridor for wildlife and a valuable green space for local residents.

Erin McDaid of NWT said: “All too often developers investigating routes for new transport links see old railway lines as the easy option. Whilst these might make sense from an engineering perspective, the value of these routes for both wildlife and people cannot be underestimated.”

Following the line of the former Midland railway, these reserves could be directly threatened by the proposal.

Kimberley Cuttings has significant geological interest, so plans could impact on hydrology, tufa limestone and fossilised plant remains.

It could threaten important limestone grassland, scrub and woodland.

The charity which cares for 67 nature reserves across Nottinghamshire also comments on around 700 planning applications and development proposals in the county each year. These cover everything from major infrastructure projects such as NET and HS2, housing and industrial developments and county wide plans for Mineral and Waste. The Wildlife Trust expects all applications to be supported by a professional appraisal of possible wildlife impacts, both of the finished infrastructures and the construction phase of any such project.

Mr McDaid added: “Whilst no formal application has been made in this case, any work done to assess the feasibility of routes for an extension must take the impacts on wildlife and the concerns of people who care about local green spaces into account. The proposed route for HS2 goes directly through our Bogs Farm Cutting Nature Reserve and impacts directly on large number of woodlands and other key wildlife sites along the entirety of its route. Developers have got to stop seeing wildlife areas, including protected sites as an easier and cheaper option. If they don’t, our environment and natural heritage will continue to be degraded and with it, human health.”