Petition update


Blaize O'Callaghan
United Kingdom

Jul 11, 2021 — 

Hi Everyone 
This is a very important post to let you all know what’s been happening since my last update to you.
Your crowdfunding support has enabled us to pay for thorough research, investigation and reporting that has enabled us to come this far. As you know we have had some success in saving 40 per cent of the oak trees in Leather Lane.Interested parties supporting our campaign include The Chiltern Conservation Board, The Chiltern Society and local councillors. 
Please read, share the petition with others and then please help us to reach the next stage of our campaign by supporting us at the crowdfunding link below. We really need your continued  support.
EKFB want to fell the ancient Oak trees along the planned track in Leather Lane from 19th July – just one week’s time.
The Oak trees and eco system along the southern side of Leather Lane form a crucial bat corridor which is in constant use by at least 7 species of bats, as seen in the montage above, including endangered Barbastelle Bats. 
HS2 have not carried out adequate surveys and this information was not presented to the local community or sub-contractors by HS2 when the road design plans were discussed.
HS2 and EKFB have failed to uphold their legal obligations and own standards and commitments to Ecology and biodiversity and no mitigation has been put in place.  As a result, we stand to lose this irreplaceable Holloway and bat corridor with a huge impact on the Chilterns Landscape, biodiversity and bat species at a local level.
We are currently in dialogue with EKFB and have employed a civil engineer to design a viable alternative route for the over-road and irreplaceable bat corridor and foraging habitat.
Despite this, EKFB, have planned road closures from 19th July to fell 12-15 trees.

It is the height of summer and any works and particularly destruction of the corridor will hugely disturb the bats as their habitat and source of food is destroyed.  Bats will be feeding themselves to sustain their pups during the season and teaching them to learn to fly and forage for themselves.
Any external factors that reduce reproductive success, increase mortality, or both, can lead to severe population declines – and recovery will be slow[1]. Furthermore, bats typically have large summer home ranges and many migrate over considerable distances between winter and summer roosts[2]. Bats are therefore susceptible to a wider range of environmental disturbances than many other small mammals.

The Local Environment Management Plan states:
“The Scheme will result in the loss of and disruption to bat foraging areas and commuting routes. Where practicable, undertake activities causing loss or disruption during seasonal periods when bats are likely to be less active. Retain as much of the key habitat for as long as possible and establish new areas as quickly as possible to reduce the effects. "
Yet EKFB want to forge ahead – putting costs and plans before Environmental commitments yet again.

We demand that EKFB:
1.     Stop felling until bridge design is agreed and bats go in to hibernation;
2.     Seriously consider the design to route the overbridge to the Northern side;
3.     Adopt the design principles submitted by the Chilterns AONB group and fulfil assurances to parliament by allowing a lane instead of a 2 way road, in keeping with the Holloway and Chilterns AONB;
4.     Create a green corridor over the track cutting (to retain connectivity between the oaks)  for the bats to prevent unnecessary deaths and protect their conservation status;
5.     Fulfil promises and legal obligations that HS2 and EKFB have committed to and are bound by in law;
6.     Listen to the community and stop using excuses to sidestep key issues.

Please find more about all of the above in this video where local resident talks about the proposed alternative on the north side to save the trees and mitigation in order to create a sustainable alternative for the bats on Leather Lane:

*** IT IS CRUCIAL THAT WE SAVE, NOT ONLY LEATHER LANE BUT THE BIODIVERSITY AND ENDAGERED SPECIES THAT THRIVE THERE*** We now need money for a barrister, solicitor, civil engineer to provide the bridge design, ongoing costs and ecologists to carry out possible ecological surveys to support our case.. SO PLEASE, PLEASE CONTINUE TO DONATE TO OUR CROWDFUNDING HERE: *** OR IF YOU WOULD PREFER TO DONATE DIRECTLY, FIND MY PAYPAL HERE: ***
Blaize x

[1]  Sendor & Simon 2003, Papadatou et al. 2011
[2] Altringham 2011

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