Councillor Graeme Davis (Andover Alliance’s Ecological specialist) has recently tackled Hampshire County Council (HCC) over an error in their actions made in haste.
A specific area of the Andover ring road was under an RVEI (Road Verges of Ecological Importance) which meant that the nature of wildlife at the site should be preserved.
Cllr Davis had observed that in their apparent haste to prevent unwanted guests on the site, the Council had planted non-native trees and caused damage to the natural species of flora and fauna of the area. He later discovered this was part of a 10 year environmental plan that hadn’t taken into consideration the updated RVEI information.
Having complained to HCC, the matter was investigated by the HCC Arboriculture Unit and it was realised that a mistake has been made and exotic species had been planted in error.
They informed Cllr Davis that appropriate actions would be taken to preserve the area.
90% of the planting will now be removed and transplanted elsewhere. The remaining 10%, being native and non-inhibiting to the natural wildlife and flora belonging to the area will remain. The Council also discovered that the management they had pursued of the area prior to the planting had actually improved the abundance of natural flowers.
The transplanting will be completed by the autumn according to Nicky Court of HCC.
Cllr Davis said, “It is good that HCC have recognised the ecological importance of this area to Andover, and that they will be taking steps to remedy the error.”