Leach Fields diggers damaged
It's being reported that a digger that had been left in Leach Fields overnight has been damaged.
Volunteer HMWT Warden for Gobions Wood, June Redgrove, condemned the action.
"However strongly people may feel about the closure of the paths and the work going on there, such behaviour is inexcusable. It will not help our cause and is to be deplored," she said.
The alleged incident comes 36 hours after a fence barring entrance to the fields was ripped down. Developers have since moved earth and brambles to block the main entrances to Leach Fields.
Yesterday, two footbridges at the south end of the path leading from Gobions Open Space to Gobions Woodland at the east of Leach Fields were removed.
The future of the area had been uncertain since the turn of the year after Leach Homes refused to extend the lease on the land.
Gobions Woodland Trust (GWT) had been renting the land for use as a nature conservation area for the benefit of wildlife and people.
A number of local residents have written to the council this morning requesting that a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) is placed on the mature oaks and elms in the Leach Fields, part of Wildlife Site 150.
The letter claims that the elms are probably unique in Hertfordshire.
According to one of those to write, "the reason for the urgency is that Leach Homes has just begun sealing off entrances to the fields and begun excavation work."
Leach Fields are part of the Moffats Meadows wildlife site, WS150, as designated in the Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council district plan.
They have been part of the regular surveys of butterflies that recorded such rare species as the White Letter Hairstreak.
Grass snakes, a protected species, have also been recorded, along with more than 100 species of native grasses and flowers.
One local resident has raised wildlife concerns after discovering that a pond in the north west corner of Leach Fields has been cut into.
You can discuss the Leach Fields in this site's forum.
25 March 2009
Gobions footbridges removed - 24 March 2009
Leach Fields entrances blocked - 24 March 2009
Bid to save protected trees - 24 March 2009
Developer blocks Leach Fields - 23 March 2009
Leach Fields lease ends - 21 December 2008