Wildlife concerns over golf course proposal

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Fears have been voiced by a Chilterns campaigner about the impact a proposed golf course renovation could have on the environment.

Retired architect Jennifer Habib says some wildlife may never return following works at Bovingdon’s Little Hay Golf Course and the landscape could take years to recover.

A planning application for a complete overhaul of the golf course has been submitted to Herts County Council by Dacorum Sports Trust.

It will involve lorries using Upper Bourne End Lane for site access – something Mrs Habib, a planning field officer for the Chiltern Society, fears will damage an ancient hedgerow.

“They are going to be bringing in 75 trucks a day,” she said. “There are wildlife concerns particularly in the hedgerow, particularly for the little birds we are losing in this country.

“The lane and its hedgerow will be destroyed and will be unusable for walkers, horse riders and other vehicles for this period and beyond.”

The trust says that although a section of the hedgerow will be cut away to allow access it will be replanted with ‘much improved’ species.

Mrs Habib said: “We believe it will be total devastation of the area for many months - at least two years.”

She is unhappy about the planned removal of 497 trees but the trust said mature and important trees will be retained and new wildlife habitats created such as woodland, meadows and wetland.

Trust spokesman Elise Hyslop said: “Our ecologist predicts that this will lead to an overall improvement in the amount of wildlife present, and indeed this is one of key intentions behind the project.”