Thackson’s Well Farm – Infinergy

 

 

Location Plan

The Proposed Scheme

Infinergy, using a shell company named "Thackson's Well Wind Farm", submitted a planning application (S07/1661) for a wind farm to be located off the A1 dual carriageway in the Vale of Belvoir, Lincolnshire in the area bounded by the villages of Bottesford, Normanton, Staunton, Long Bennington, Foston, Allington, Sedgebrook, Muston and Easthorpe.

In outline:

  • The planning application is for a period of 25 years.
  • The proposed wind farm consists of 10 wind turbines and associated infrastructure.
  • Each turbine is up to 90m hub-height with a blade length of 35.5m, with a maximum total height of 125 metres. This is taller than "Big Ben" and the swept area of the blades of each turbine will be bigger than a football pitch. This will be one of the largest wind farms currently built in England.
  • Each turbine will have a nominal generating capacity of 2.3MW giving a total nominal capacity of 23MW.
  • The nearest turbine will be only 250m from the Viking Way, 2.6 km from the A1 and less than 1.9 km from the A52.
  • There are 8 villages within 2.5kms and some 7,500 people identified by South Kesteven District Council as being potentially affected.

 

The Rebuttal Statement

An in depth Rebuttal Statement was prepared and submitted to SKDC for the Development Committee meeting, held on 11th March.

News

17th November, 2008 - INFINERGY LOST THEIR APPEAL  The Government Inspector turned down Infinergy's appeal.  The following link contains the full Appeal Decision document.
APPEAL DECISION 

15th May, 2008 - INFINERGY LODGES AN APPEAL against the decision by SKDC to refuse their application to build ten 415ft wind turbines at Thacksons Well Farm. A Government Inspector will be appointed to consider their case. In order to fight an Appeal, BLOT will have to retain legal personnel and pay expert witnesses to fight our corner. It will probably take months for the Appeal to be heard, as there is currently a waiting list for Inspectors.

11th March, 2008 - SKDC voted 10:2 against Infinergy's application to build ten turbines at Thacksons Well Farm.

The Council's schedule of reasons for refusal is as follows:

  • The committee report detailed conflicting medical evidence. The Haynes McKenzie Report of May 2006 stated that there is no evidence of health effects arising from Infrasound or Low-Frequency Noise (ILFN) generated from turbines, but there were 2 other contradictory pieces of evidence that post date it. In August 2006 the United Kingdom Noise Association reviewed both medical and acoustic evidence and concluded that the larger turbines should not be located within 1 mile of human dwellings. Also, at the 2nd International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise held in Lyon, France in September 2007, a scientific paper was presented which stated that wind turbine noise is conducive to Vibroacoustic Disease (VAD). Other reports by GPs in the UK and other international medical experts like the French Academie Nationale de Medecine in Paris recommend a distance of 2km (1.25 miles) to ensure the safety of families and young children. Therefore, adopting the precautionary approach, it is considered that the application be refused because the nearest turbine is much closer than 1.25 miles to human habitation, both domestic and industrial.

 

  • It is considered that the 125m turbines will create a significant visual intrusion into the landscape when viewed from various locations, near and far, within the district. The Landscape Character Assessment indicated that the Trent and Belvoir Vale has been identified as a landscape with 'medium sensitivity' to wind energy proposals (others disagreed and thought it was 'high sensitivity'). It is considered that, despite being located adjacent to other industrial activity, the landscape cannot assimilate such large structures harmoniously. Thus it is contrary to PPS22, the East Midlands Regional Plan (RSS8 - Policies 39), the Lincolnshire Structure Plan (Policy NE11), and EN1 of the South Kesteven Local Plan because of the exceptional quality of the Vale of Belvoir.

 

  • It is considered that the application will have both significant direct and cumulative adverse effects on the setting and visual amenity of a number heritage assets including Belvoir Castle, Bottesford Church and Bennington Grange, and on the whole historic landscape of the Vale of Belvoir which contains these historic buildings and monuments of outstanding and international significance. The application is thus contrary to PPG15, PPG16 and Policies C1 and C2 of the South Kesteven Local Plan.


For other news items, see ...

News Flash

Please also sign a new 2 km Radius Petition: Petition

SKDC Contact Details

Click here for contact details

Read more: Thackson’s Well Farm – Infinergy

Local Impact

 

   

Illustration showing some of the existing and proposed wind turbines in the Trent and Belvoir Vale.

 

Full planning applications for Fulbeck’s 13 turbine and Long Bennington’s 6 turbine wind farms have not been submitted as they are at the scoping stage.

 

 

Would you choose to live near an industrial sized wind turbine or look elsewhere?

 Table below

Showing status of local turbine applications and appeals .

   

 

Turbine

Name

Height

metres

Rotor Ø

metres

Status

1

Hawton

126.5

100

appeal

2

Hawton

126.5

100

appeal

3

Hawton

126.5

100

appeal

4

Fox Covert

130

100

planning

5

Fox Covert

130

100

planning

6

Fox Covert

130

100

planning

7

Fox Covert

130

100

planning

8

Temple Hill

126.5

 93

planning

9

Temple Hill

126.5

 93

planning

10

Temple Hill

126.5

 93

planning

11

Temple Hill

126.5

 93

planning

12

Temple Hill

126.5

 93

planning

13

C. Scroop

 50

 29

planning

14

Frinkley

 67

 33

built

15

Marston

 74

 48

passed

16

Foston

 99.5

 53

planning

17

Allington

 34

 19

built

18

Bottesford

 46

 19

planning

19

Orston

 74

 48

dismissed

20

Orston

 74

 48

appeal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this section (click on heading):

Noise and Health
Efficiency and Viability
Landscape and Visual Impact
Environmental Issues
House Prices
TV Reception
Setting a bad precedent
Public Rights of Way
Historic Features
Road Safety
Ecology 

   

 

 

Noise and Health

Wind turbines produce two types of sound – normal Aerodynamic Noise

and Low Frequency Infrasound.

“Health effects due to low-frequency components in noise are estimated to be more severe than                                         for community noises in general” - World Health Organization [1]  

 

Research has shown that the Low Frequency Sound causes extreme duress to a

number of people who are sensitive to its effects. People living and working near

wind turbines have been known to experience health problems including sleep

deprivation, headaches, irritability, and stress.

Wind farm developers cannot now play down any claims regarding health

problems or state that there have been no studies carried out by any

professional bodies to substantiate the world wide health claims.

In February 2009 details of the Government sponsored Salford University Study

on Noise (Research into Aerodynamic Modulation of Wind Turbine Noise

URN 07/1235) finally entered the public domain, following sterling work by

Dr. Lee Moroney, Directory of Planning and Dr. John Constable,

Directory of Policy and Research.  To read the findings of this survey,

please click the following:  Wind Turbine Noise Complaint Survey Data

In depth studies have been carried out by Professor Mariana Alves-Pereira

of Lusófona University, Lisbon and Nuno Castelo Branco M.D. of the

Centre of Human Performance, Alves, Portugal on noise generated from

wind turbines on a family living close to four wind turbines. The family were

diagnosed with Vibro Acoustic Disease (VAD). Research into VAD has

been ongoing since 1980. The sources of VAD vary from Industrial complexes

to high volume motorways, and even aircraft cabins. Pereira and Branco made

a presentation at the Inter Noise Conference held in Istanbul, Turkey in August 2007.

Read their presentation ...

Public health and noise exposure: the importance of low frequency noise

Dr. A. Harry has written a paper examining the issue of possible adverse

effects of wind turbines on health and presents a preliminary community survey ...

Wind Turbines: Noise and Health

Nina Pierpont, MD, PhD, a clinical and environmental physician and scientist

from Malone, New York, in her paper Wind Turbine Syndrome states'

Wind turbine Syndrome likely will become an industrial plague. ...'

Wind Turbine Syndrome

A paper by B. J. Frey, MA and P. J. Hadden, BSc, FRICS not only reviews

the acoustics of wind turbines and the adverse impact of noise on health,

but also includes a discussion of human rights issues. In relation to the

adverse health effects, the paper considers the basic violation of human rights,

if Government puts more importance on achieving an ideological goal than

safeguarding the basic human rights of its People. Read their paper ...

Noise Radiation from Wind Turbines Installed near Homes: Effects on Health

Read an interesting report 'Location Location Location' - an Investigation into

Wind Farms and Noise by the Noise Association ...

Location Location Location (pdf)

Frits van den Berg, a physicist at the University of Groningen in T

he Netherlands, studied noise levels around a German facility of 17 turbines.

In a paper published in the November 2004 Journal of Sound and Vibration,

he found that at night, because the surface air is often more still than the air

at the height of the blades, the noise from the turbines is 15 to 18 dB higher

than during the day and carries further. He noted that residents 1.9 kilometers

(6,200 feet or 1.2 miles) away expressed strong annoyance with noise from

the facility. Read his paper ...

Effects of wind profile at night on wind turbine sound

Yet another Lincolnshire wind farm is causing noise problems

for local residents. Read about it in Spalding Today

Professors Graham Harding, Pamela Harding and Arnold Wilkins

recently published a paper on Wind Turbine Flicker and Photosensitive

Epilepsy. Please read their paper ...

Wind turbines, flicker and photosensitive epilepsy: 

Characterising the flashing that my precipitate seizures and optimising

guidelines to prevent them

Carmen Krogh, a retired pharmacist from Bonnechere Valley Township

in Canada, speaks of her experience of the health effects of wind turbines. 

Woman tells a tale of turbine torment

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Efficiency & Viability

The rationale for the building of wind turbines is that they should displace

conventional generating capacity and reduce CO2 emissions, thus contributing to

the fight against global warming.

There are big drawbacks to wind power:-

  • Wind farms are an intermittent source of energy because the wind does not blow
  • all the time. Due to the vagaries of wind in the UK, fossil fuel power stations must
  • be retained and operated in parallel at reduced power and efficiency. The starting
  • and stopping actually increases their CO2 emissions for a given output because
  • they must take over the load when the wind is not blowing.

 

  • Wind Farms are very costly and are highly subsidised through the ROC system
  • (Renewable Obligation Certificates). They are only being developed because the
  • operators get more than twice as much in subsidy as they do from selling the electricity
  • generated. Building onshore wind farms is an easy and cheap route to large handouts
  • for the developer and the land owner. Wind farms are not the only alternative to current

    energy sources. Money is siphoned away from other more reliable technologies such as

  • bio-fuels, tidal and hydro power etc. This quote from Country Guardian gives a details
  • explanation into how the subsidy system works: "A single 2 MW wind turbine operating
  • at 30% load factor would, on the basis of the above figures, receive an annual subsidy
  • of over £235,000". To read the whole article here ... Country Guardian - Subsidy System

 

  • Wind farms will never make a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions even if
  • we have 5 or 10 times the current number. And the cost in terms of trashed landscape,
  • blighted lives and missed opportunities is just not worth it.


The wind power industry claims that wind turbines are 30% efficient. True - a few in the

windier parts of the country are. The majority are much less efficient, with the average

being 26% (24% in the East of England). Some are much less efficient than that even!

It is claimed that each MegaWatt of wind power generated electricity will save 2,260

tonnes of CO2 per year. This assumes all electricity is generated using dirty coal.

However, the majority of power stations are now either gas or nuclear. The real 'saving'

is 1,130 tonnes per year, half of the wind power industry claim! (That is before factoring

in the need to keep conventional power stations running.) Some research contends that

the net reduction in CO2 emissions is NIL! (David Tolley of Innogy Plc. "NETA T

he Consequences - A Keynote Address" - Institution of Mechanical Engineers, January 2003)

Calculations are based on figures from 'DEFRA Fuel Conversion Factors for Grid Electricity'.

The economics do not stack up, except for power companies.

Read the article by David Derbyshire, Environment Editor of the Daily Mail - 5th February,

2008 called £1 bn Wind farm subsidies pump up power firm profits". He discusses the

Government scheme whereby British consumers pay £1 bn a year in their fuel bills to

subsidise the drive towards renewable energy. Read here ...

 

INTERESTING FACTS:

 

·         Wind Turbine Efficiency Europe - Denmark has now withdrawn government

subsidiesto land-based wind-farms.

 

·         It is more cost effective to give every householder an energy saving light bulb

than it is to pay such huge subsidies to wind turbine operators. Calculations based

 on 'The Case Against Wind Farms' - Dr. J. R. Etherington (2006). Read here ...

 

·         Subsidies are too high. A 3 MegaWatt wind turbine (similar to those proposed

 byInfinergy) will receive a subsidy of up to £350,000 per year! This calculation is

based on Dr. J. R. Etherington's The Case Against Wind Farms (see above).

 

·         A detailed analysis paper by White in 2004 written for the Renewable Energy

Foundation noted that the European experience over 20 years had shown that "wind

generated power to be variable, unpredictable and uncontrollable" and that annual

electricity production was "routinely disappointing" and "this does not auger well

 for the UK's chance of achieving significant emissions abatement."

 

·         The experience in Ireland has been similar (Impact of wind power generation in

Ireland on the operation of conventional plant and the economic implications; 2004).

 Operating gas turbine power stations with powering up and down generated more

CO2 per kWh of electricity than if the stations were operated on the normal planned

 load. This frequent powering up and down of the power stations had not been

anticipated at design: such operation not only increased CO2emissions, but also

increased wear and tear - shortening the period between overhauls and leading to

 higher maintenance costs. General Electric, who manufactured the gas turbines

used in the Irish power stations, have drawn attention to the adverse consequences

of operating gas turbines in this way. The Irish evidence shows that as the installed

wind power capacity increases, CO2 emissions actually increase as a direct result

of having to cope with the variation in wind power output.

 

·         No long term economic benefit in employment. Only some temporary jobs

will be generated during the construction phase, but once operational the project

 will not create any full time jobs locally.

 

·         The National Audit Office already recognises that onshore wind offers over-

generous subsidies to developers. With electricity prices at current levels and

 subsidies via the ROC system at about £47.50 per MWh, it is estimated the

 Infinergy and Ridgewind power stations would each generate revenues of

more than £2.1m per annum, of whichalmost £1.25m would come from subsidy.

Nearly 70% of this sum is the excess profit that accrues from the current

subsidy system.

 

 

·         www.peopleandplanet.net published an article on 12th August,2008 on India's

 

·         lack of success with wind energy. 'India's wind power boom is failing to deliver' -

 

·         Read here ...

 

 

·         An article in the Wall Street Journal by Edgar Gartner, a specialist in energy

·         and chemicals based in Frankfurt, points out the irregularity of wind turbine

 

·         generated electricity and suggests that wind power is no answer to our energy

 

·         security. Read here ...

BACK TO TOP

Landscape and Visual Impact

The Vale of Belvoir is a remote rural area with a strong and robust sense of identity.

The Vale is famous for its history of dairying and its character as a grazing belt.

 Although much of the Vale has been brought under cultivation, this tradition still

prevails with large tracts of farmland still set to pasture. The low-lying Vale is physically

very distinct with escarpments framing its southern, western and northern sides.

A nucleated settlement pattern of small red brick villages interlinked by narrow country

 lanes is an important component of the area’s unified rural character.... '

(Countryside Appraisal - Nottinghamshire County Counci)

Read more on the Vale of Belvoir

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Environmental Issues

The base of each turbine will consist of an olympic swimming pool sized

excavation filled with concrete. Each turbine will also need an access road.

If turbines are built on flood plains the concrete foundations

will increase the risk of flooding to the surrounding area. The A1 already floods

 sometimes between the Proposed Marston and Foston Turbine.

All this destruction to our countryside is being sanctioned by the government

because of the 'concept' that we must save our planet from the threat of

global warming. Yet the theory of the earth being in a period of collapse

due to the activities of mankind is challenged by over 31,000 scientists.

The evidence which they put forward actually promotes the opposite view -

 that an increase of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere would be more beneficial

 to plant growth and create a greener planet. Read more…

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House Prices

 

Can wind farms affect property prices?

 

A survey carried out by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors concluded

'Our study in 2004 concluded that 60% of the surveys sampled

thought wind farms decrease the value of  residential property

where the development is  within view. 67% of the sample

indicated that  the negative impact on property prices starts when

a planning application to build a wind farm begins.'   

 

Nigel Bunyan and Martin Beckford highlights the risks to property values.

Please click on the following link:

Homeowners living near windfarms see property values plummet

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TV Reception

Wind turbines can interfere with telecommunications signals, including

 TV and radio, mainly by the multi-path effect, where there is corruption

 or distortion of the received signal by the secondary signal. Uniquely

with wind turbines this may 'chop' the signal, causing variable 'ghosting' or

'jittering' on the TV picture. Once analogue TV is replaced by digital it is

possible that transmission will be less vulnerable to interference.

However, the BBC and Ofcom do recognise that wind farms have a

disruptive effect on analogue television reception and because of their

moving blades, require additional consideration compared with static structures.

The Infinergy ES admits that there will be a “shadow” effect for houses where

the turbines lie on the path from the relevant transmitter. This shadow effect

lasts up to 5km from the wind farm. It is impossible to determine what the

actual effect will be until the wind farm is operational.

When a wind farm is built, the signal degradation will be instantaneous and

universal. Given the importance of television to the quality of life of many people,

especially the elderly, a long wait for the wind farm company to correct the problem

 is totally unacceptable. In the case of the Burton Wold wind farm over 400 houses

 required the installation of set-top boxes.

For acounts of first hand experiences of the effects of wind turbines on TV reception,

please read the following articles published in our national press ...

Swishing blades spoiling our TV reception ...
Viewers hit by TV blackout because of wind farm ...

BACK TO TOP

Setting a bad precedent

Charles Sandham of Infinergy stated at Long Bennington PC meeting

that he saw no reason why twenty or thirty turbines should not be put

 up over a period of time.

The Vale of Belvoir could be in danger of becoming a wind farm 'alley'.

Once one wind farm has been granted permission, there is a greater

 likelihood of others in the same area being allowed. In Swaffam in

 Norfolk where the locals supported the building of two turbines, eight

have been built outside a nearby village and a further six are being proposed.

Once the landscape has been degraded by one wind farm, the visual impact

argument, which is one of the strongest, no longer applies.

BACK TO TOP

Public Rights of Way

The proposed sites for wind development lie directly in the middle of the

A1 and A52 triangle. An industrial site in the middle of open agricultural land

 will have a significant impact on the rights of way network in an already

severely restricted area.

The villages of Allington, Sedgebrook, Bottesford, Easthorpe and

 Normanton are dependent on the open access available to them to

the west of the A1 and north of the A52. Due to the natural barriers

these major roads represent, walkers, cyclists and in particular

 horse riders are constrained to this area for their recreational enjoyment.

The applicant's proposal will completely dominate this area to the effect

 that instead of having the pleasure of enjoying the open Lincolnshire

countryside, the public will be continually in the shadow of massive

industrial machinery.

The Viking Way is a long distance National Trail that starts on the banks

 of the Humber in the north and winds its way through Lincolnshire to finish

 on the shores of Rutland Water, a total of 235km (147 miles). The route passes

260m to the east of two of the turbines on the proposed Infinergy wind farm site.

Research carried out for ROWIP (Rights of Way Improvement Plans) identified

that walking is the most popular form of activity with circular routes of 2 to 5 miles

directly from home being the norm. Dog walkers are regular users of local rights

of way often exercising twice a day. This is especially true for the local villages

 surrounding the proposed turbine site, particularly Bottesford Road leading out

of Allington, where locals and residents travel to enjoy the panoramic views and

 stunning sunsets this area has to offer. This amenity will be completely ruined if

this application is allowed.

From Bottesford a public right of way passes between two of the turbines on

the proposed RidgeWind site leaving as little as 20m distance from a turbine.

It is important to note that a turbine manufacturer (Vestas) specifies that

 human beings should avoid going within 400m of a turbine, for reasons

of health and safety.

At present the Vale's outstanding feature is Belvoir Castle but as these turbines

 will be visible from 20 miles away (depending on weather conditons) this will no

 longer be the case. To protect the Belvoir Vale, meaning Beautiful View, from this

 development this application must be refused.

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Historic Features

The protections identified in the national and regional policies fall through into the

 South Kesteven Local Plan. In addition  specific protection to

the seven registered parks, indicating that they offer a great resource to the District

 and that special care must be taken to ensure that the historical value of the areas

 is enhanced rather than damaged. The seven properties are:

* Belton House                                                                                                                                        
* Caythorpe Court
* Easton Park
* Grimsthorpe Castle
* Harlaxton Manor
* Marston Hall
* Stoke Rochford Hall



In addition, within Nottinghamshire, Staunton Hall and Park is under two miles

from the site and the internationally recognised Belvoir Castle is only four miles

away. These receive protection under the relevant national, regional and local policies.

In a letter to South Kesteven District Council regarding the Infinergy proposal,

James Edgar of English Heritage said the following for the Infinergy application:

"English Heritage recommends that your authority should refuse this application

because of both the significant direct and cumulative adverse effects on the setting

and visual amenity of a number of heritage assets and on the whole historic landscape

of the Vale of Belvoir which contains historic buildings and monuments of outstanding

and international significance."

" The surroundings in which the two dominant historic places - Belvoir Castle LBS

189989 and its park and the Church of St Mary LBS 190042 - are jointly experienced

(their setting) constitutes the whole of this part of the Vale extending over a considerable

 distance in all directions. One interesting example is the land just to the north of Bottesford.

 Beacon Hill, a prominent landmark with a network of public rights of way, is a critical part

of the surroundings in which the historic places are experienced. We firmly believe that

change of the scale proposed will diminish the experience and therefore significance of

 the historic places as the turbines, albeit will be intrusive and even dominate by being

extremely tall, high in number, extensive in scale, moving and, possibly, causing noise."

His comments applied to Infinergy but will be even more relevant if RidgeWind submit

an application. To read the full letter from James Edgar, please click the link below.

English Heritage

BACK TO TOP

Road Safety

Wind turbines 125m high with 71m diameter rotating blades will attract the attention

of all people within their visual range. Obviously as separation distance narrows so

the propensity for distraction increases.

The A1 and the A52 are already unacceptably dangerous and the A52 is the longest

of the Road Safety Red Routes and carries an unacceptably high level of traffic.

There have been over 40 accidents on this road. In the last 5yrs alone, there

 have been 30 fatal and 154 serious injury collisions. Currently engineering work

is underway to improve the A1 but nothing has been done for the A52. As well as

carrying a substantial amount of commercial traffic, the A52 runs through some

of the most popular tourist resorts in the country.

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Ecology

Ornithology

The Marston Sewage Treatment Works, one of the best inland birding sites

in the county with 165 species of birds recorded, lies within 7 km of the

 proposed sites. A second important bird habitat in the vicinity is the ridge

along the Vale of Belvoir which supports Common Buzzards, Red Kite,

Merlin and Peregrine Falcons.

Raptors are particularly susceptible to collisions with wind turbines.

When they are hunting their attention is focused on their prey and

collisions with blade tips travelling at 170mph become more likely. 

See the following film of a vulture being hit by a turbine blade: 

Vulture gets hit by wind turbine

Bats

Bats are one of the most heavily protected species in the country

of international importance and the UK has signed up to The Agreement

on the Conservation of Populations of European Bats (Eurobats).

This aims to protect all 45 species of bat identified in Europe.

One of its recommendations is that turbines should be placed at

 least 200m from a bat foraging route. Yet in these schemes

turbine blades actually overfly hedges and one turbine is within 100m of woodland.

Both the proposed sites have many features conducive to bat activity,

namely ditches, ponds, hedgerows and woodland. Indeed 6 species

of bats were recorded on the Infinergy site with two being high-flying

species, Noctules and Daubentons.

Bats are listed as a UK "Priority Species" and it is an offence to:

* Intentionally or deliberately kill, injure or capture bats
* Deliberately disturb bats (whether at roost or not)

The prevalence of bats in the area is shown by one of the hedgerow

logging sites showing an average of 713 passes per night. It is therefore

 clear that the introduction of wind farms to an area of high bat usage

will disturb the bats and will likely cause collisions resulting in injury or death.

For the latest scientific research on bats and windfarms, please read

an article written by Richard Black, Environment Correspondent of

 BBC News Website, published on 28th August, 2008 -

Windfarms put pressure on bats

Other Mammals and Amphibians

Fifteen species of butterfly and three species of dragonfly/damselfly

are to be found in the area, including the Grizzled Skipper. This is

 proposed to be a priority UK Species and a Species Action Plan has

already been drawn up by the counties of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Brown hares are frequently seen in the area and are of national

importance as a UK BAP priority species and Lincolnshire have included this species in its BAP.

Great crested newts and badgers have also been confirmed on the site.

BACK TO TOP

Picture Gallery

Tuxford Turbine 95m

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