Settlements present barriers, such as fences, buildings and roads, that animals are unable or reluctant to pass through. This can lead to fragmentation of wildlife habitats and problems for species in terms of feeding and reproduction.
Wildlife corridors provide an unbroken route of travel between and within habitat areas. These corridors may take the form of tree lined streets, hedgerows or public footpaths with verges.
The wildlife corridors across the Parish are protected through the Neighbourhood Plan in order to maintain the rich and biodiverse natural environment of the Parish.
The Thrussington Neighbourhood Plan seeks to protect and enhance its sensitive landscape setting, through resisting applications which lead to its fragmentation or loss. All new developments must demonstrate how they have respected and reinforced historic landscape features and patterns.
NP Objective: 4, 5, 6
Thrussington Parish is home to a number of views and vistas which make an important contribution to the character and setting of the Parish. Some of these views are within the village itself and others are within or out to the wider landscape setting.
This policy seeks to protect identified views within the Parish as they are considered to make an important contribution and should be taken into account by all new development.
Comments from the Charnwood Borough Council’s Senior Ecological Officer:
I have identified a number of features that would present ecological constraints to development and so which may help inform the neighbourhood plan. There are a number of local wildlife sites (LWS) within the parish:
Oxbrook wood along the Oxbrook to the north of Thrussington
Thrussington Wolds Gorse, just south of Wolds farm in the far north of the parish
A pond and associated marginal land on the north side of Thrussington Road on the east side of the village
All of these would be a material consideration for planning applications although none have been recently surveyed. I would be happy to support a resurvey if relevant landowner permissions could be obtained. The pond was designated for its amphibian assemblage and so a resurvey of this would have to wait until spring next year.
In addition to local wildlife sites (LWS) there are a number of parish level sites, including an important hedge on the north east side of the village. Resurvey of these would establish which, if any, meet LWS criteria. Again: I would be happy to support a resurvey given relevant permissions.
There are a number of trees with TPOs on the north side of Ratcliffe Rd around the Tennis courts. The land around the tennis courts appears to contain two ponds.
With respect to habitats the fields surrounding the village the grasslands on the east side of the village appear to be the most valuable with some areas of what may be species rich grassland and other areas of ridge and furrow (along footpath to Ragdale) which although horse grazed retain some species typical of species rich grassland such as pignut. The west side of the village around Seagrave Road and Ratcliffe Road is dominated by arable fields which are nominally less valuable for biodiversity but which do (based on observations during my visit) support notable species including brown hare and skylark and may support other notable farmland birds. There are also several ponds in this area some of which may be valuable in their own right but may also support great crested newt, although I was not able to visit any of these.
Water courses obviously represent an ecological asset however the constraints imposed here by the flood plain provide a guide for ecological buffers. This said the designated flood plain along the river Wreake to the south of Ratcliffe Road is narrow and only extends along the Ox Brook as far as Hilltop Farm. Here at least the flood plain does not provide sufficient ecological buffering.
Senior Ecological Officer
Charnwood Borough Council
Footpaths around the Parish:
Electric fence obstructing footpath, mentioned to land owners to remove
Collapsed bridge/walkway between fields – complaint raised to LCC 11/5/2018
Charnwood data on biodiversity within the borough – not specific to Thrussington Parish (this data will not be updated)