Rare bird faces extinction in Hertfordshire

Keen bird watchers may soon no longer see Tree Sparrows in Hertfordshire.

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 3:56 pm

The RSPB SE Herts, a local group for people interested in learning more about birds and wildlife, has raised concerns about a major development of 6,000 homes at Tyttenhanger, that they say may threaten Hertfordshire's only significant colony of Tree Sparrow.

The Herts Bird Club has been supporting the last remaining Tree Sparrows in Hertfordshire at their surviving breeding colony in the Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits area for over 30 years.

Tree Sparrows are ‘red listed’ as birds of the greatest conservation concern and this colony is one of only a few remaining in the south east of England.

Rare bird faces extinction in Hertfordshire

Now it is claimed they face a threat from a possible housing development on the site that campaigners say would 'seal their fate' and mean Tree Sparrows become extinct as a breeding bird in the county.

In response to the threat posed, not just to the Tree Sparrows, but to all the rich wildlife of the area, a Working Group has been set up by the Herts Bird Club.

Working with members of the SE Herts RSPB group and the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust the group is working together to oppose the development plans and look at ways the site and its wildlife – in particular the Tree Sparrows – can be saved.

Hertsmere Borough Council's Local Plan sets out how they will meet their housing targets for the next 15 years.

A spokesperson for Hertsmere Borough Council said: "Bowman’s Cross is being considered as a possible site allocation in the new Local Plan for a new settlement.

"As part of this process all necessary studies (including ecological) will need to be undertaken and will inform the final decision as to the extent of any development to ensure any protected species remain so."

For more information about the Herts Tree Sparrow Project click here.