While delegates to the Nagoya conference talk about the importance of reducing biodiversity loss, in Greenwich Park (London, UK) the rare acid grasslands are being grubbed up; across the ancient parkland aggressive agro-chemicals are being deployed (apparently for the first time outside a golf course or sports ground) that kill all invertebrates and micro-organisms to a depth of one metre and are likely to wipe out what was a stronghold of the stag beetle, a protected species, and significantly impact on the food chain of all the animals in the Park. The agro-chemicals could cause skin problems or worse. Trees are being damaged or felled without any attempt having been made to ascertain whether or not they are bat roosts (no emergence survey). Conservation laws, eg
are being breached on all sides. The quangos that should ensure that habitat and species legislation is observed have, it seems, all been "whipped in". The local planning authority (Greenwich Council) has failed in its duty under Reg 3(4) of the 1994 Regulations to give consideration to the three derogation tests contained in the species protection provisions of the 1994 Regulations. And no European Protected Species licence has been obtained.
Why? For the sake of two hours of an elite sport, taking place in 18 months time, and for which there are much better venues, ie where it would be more cost-effective to stage the events.
While the UK makes the "right noises" on the world stage about biodiversity, here in fragile and unique Greenwich Park all those fine words are seen as just that, just words. In my estimation, the damage already done to the rare acid grasslands will take 10 years to repair. It may already be too late for the stag beetle. Please stop this before the bat colonies are wiped out.