Herefordshire Wildlife Trust says it is “incredibly concerned” over the likely impact of plans to develop a wide tract of land between Hereford and the Lugg Meadows nature reserve.

Plans were unveiled this month for a 350-home estate, community facilities and public green space on 23 hectares of what is currently farmland immediately south of Ledbury Road, the A438.

But the resulting increased number of people visiting the neighbouring meadows, a registered site of special scientific interest (SSSI) managed by the trust, along with dogs and cats, noise, light pollution and traffic, would “have a significant impact on its flora and fauna”, the trust warned.


It explained that floodplain meadows such as that around the Lugg are now incredibly rare, with only around 1,200 hectares remaining in the UK, yet provide “fantastic specialised wildlife habitat”, acknowledged in the county’s biodiversity action plan.

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This supports many rare species of plants and animals, including the snake’s head fritillary and a small breeding population of curlew – which are already threatened with extinction in Herefordshire and are the subject of a conservation project at the site, HWT said.

A newly launched consultation website outlining the development proposals says it would include wetland and scrub creation and other work on new and improved habitats.