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We are pressing North Hinksey Parish Council to drop its plans to make ‘improvements’ in the wooded part of the Louie Memorial Fields.(1)
The council’s plans are not known in detail because they have not been divulged to the public, but among other things, the intention is to hard-surface the path through woods, a charming copse of mixed species of trees adjacent to the Louie Memorial Fields.
Opposition to the council’s plans for the copse and for the rest of the fields is mounting under the leadership of the newly-formed Friends of the Louie Memorial Fields and Copse, a member of the society.
The society is urging the council to desist in view of the untested conservation significance of the woodland and has sent a letter to this effect to the council.(2)
Dr Andrew Gosler, President of the Oxford Ornithological Society, has visited the site and made the following statement:
The parish council should not be doing this in the breeding season. It betrays a dismal ignorance and lack of care. It is crass to do such a thing at this time. You can be certain that the council has not considered whether the site has conservation value.
1. The Louie Memorial Fields including the copse were given to North Hinksey parish in 1939. They command splendid views across Oxford. They consist of open fields with the small area of woodland referred to above.
2. The Open Spaces Society has written to Mr Alan Stone, clerk of North Hinksey Parish Council, as follows:
Dear Mr Stone
Thank you for your letter dated 2 June to our Case Officer, Nicola Hodgson; she will be studying the contents on her return to the office next week.
Meanwhile we are deeply concerned to learn from our member organisation, the Friends of Louie Memorial Fields and Copse, that your council plans to start work on the so-called ‘improvements’ in the copse, perhaps as soon as next Monday morning. In view of the mounting level of local alarm about the council’s plans, not least because their details have not been divulged, we urge you to desist.
In addition we wish to point out that this is the birds’ nesting season and no work which might disturb them should be undertaken until at least September.
Today Dr Andrew Gosler, President of the Oxford Ornithological Society, who is also University Research Lecturer and Human Sciences Lecturer in Biological Conservation, visited the copse and made the following statement:
‘The parish council should not be doing this in the breeding season. It betrays a dismal ignorance and lack of care. It is crass to do such a thing at this time. You can be certain that the council has not considered whether the site has conservation value.’
We are releasing this letter to the media forthwith.
Kate Ashbrook, General Secretary, Open Spaces Society