Published on 2nd March 2011
Local residents asked for their views
Local residents are being asked for their views on plans for a 2.5km fence to enclose Charlton Kings Common.
The fence, which would follow the common's historic wall boundary, is part of a bid to promote the commons into Natural England's Higher Level Stewardship scheme, by introducing extensive grazing on the site.
Planning consent is required for 750m of the 2,500m fence line as it would mean fencing within the common boundary.
Leckhampton Hill and Charlton King Common was designated an area of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) by Natural England in 1954.
The draft proposals are the result of extensive consultation with FOLK (Friends of Leckhampton Hill and Charlton Kings Common) and the local community, paying particular attention to Public Rights of Way and 'desire lines' through the site.
People wanting to see the plans and give their views can see them in the main reception area in the Municipal Offices or online. Alternatively call 01242 250019 for more details.
Cllr Roger Whyborn, cabinet member for sustainability, said: "We have recognised for a long time that this area did not meet with Natural England's classification of 'favourable condition' and this is something we would like to improve. We have worked closely with our partner organisations and volunteer groups, using local knowledge, to come up with these proposals which we hope will help further improve this beautiful countryside, and are very interested to hear local residents' views."
Natural England has allocated £18k to put toward the fencing the rest will come from other allocated grants for conservation of the site, with the total cost for the project being around £25k.
For media enquiries, contact Laura Carter, communications officer, telephone 01242 775037, email [email protected]
It wasn't until 2003 when the hill was put under an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) agreement and grazing was introduced under a temporary electric paddock system that the site has begun to improve - although not quite enough to meet the 'favourable condition' classification.
Natural England is an independent public body whose purpose is to protect and improve England's natural environment and encourage people to enjoy and get involved in their surroundings. For more information visit www.naturalengland.org.uk