Buglife are reporting that the new wildlife protection laws may not be as useful as had been hoped.
Buglife were trying to get planning permission, granted by Thurrock council, for a new Royal Mail Distribution centre at West Thurrock Marshes squashed. Unfortunately Justice Missing dismissed the 2006 Biodiversity Duty that applies to all Public Bodies as being a ‘weak one”.
Some expamples of species affected by this ruling:
The Distinguished jumper (Sitticus distinguendus): a spider found on only two sites in the UK – both threatened brownfield sites.
The Brown-banded carder bee (Bombus humilis) and Red-shanked bumblebee (Bombus ruderarius) depend on the large areas of flower-rich grassland, most of which will be destroyed by the development. Both of these species have suffered large declines.
The Saltmarsh shortspur beetle (Anisodactylus poeciliodes): a large proportion of the habitat of this rare and endangered beetle will be lost – replaced by a car park. Well that's useful!
The Royal Mail Group’s Post Office run advertisements featuring happy ants, the ants at West Thurrock will not be so happy. The new development will stamp out a population of the rare Hump-backed red ant (Myrmica bessarabica).