Derby

The Urban Birder upset at Sanctuary nature reserve 'damage'

The mound of earth at the Santuary Image copyright Sanctuary bird reserve
Image caption The council say a fresh planning application is needed to remove the rubble

A TV wildlife expert has said he is upset at "damage" to a nature reserve following a failed city council bid to build a cycle track there.

Derby City Council was taken to court over concerns for rare birds after work was approved and started on the track at The Sanctuary, in 2014.

David Lindo, known as the Urban Birder, said huge mounds of remaining rubble are ruining views at the beauty spot.

The authority said it has "no budget" to carry out the work at the site.

Mr Lindo has appeared on BBC One's Britain's Big Wildlife Revival among other programmes.

Image copyright Urban Birder
Image caption David Lindo tweeted about the state of the nature reserve

In 2012, council plans showed a 1.5km road circuit running between two bird hides and the reserve at Pride Park, near to where the city's velodrome was being built.

The move angered conservationists as the sanctuary was only established in 2003 and had since been successfully attracting rare birds.

Work began in 2014 but was stopped after Derbyshire Wildlife Trust took legal action.

Mr Lindo, who first visited the site in 2010, said he was "dismayed".

"There are ugly heaps of soil, rock, concrete, that are not conducive to nature. You can't see a thing.

"It's a beautiful oasis in the city given over to the people of Derby... the council should make it the gem it should be."

Image copyright M Muddiman
Image caption Little ringed plover have been known to breed at the site

Derby City Council said in a statement: "Any replacement work at the nature reserve will require a new planning application and no budget has been identified for this or any work at this time.

"Given the current financial challenges this still remains the case."

Threatened birds including the skylark and ring ouzel have both been spotted at the site and a pair of little ringed plovers have also nested there.


Image copyright Sanctuary Bird Reserve
Image caption The "damaged" land near the velodrome in Derby

The Sanctuary Bird Reserve - timeline

  • 2003: Go-ahead given for The Sanctuary to help rare birds
  • 2012: Plans for an outdoor cycle track emerge which shows part of it cutting through the reserve
  • 2013: Derby City Council approves the proposals
  • 2014: Work to build the cycle track is stopped following an interim court order issued by the High Court
  • 2015: The council refuses to restore the land saying it cannot afford to

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