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Posted Sun Jul 14 2013: from The Independent:
Ancient wood to be felled for quarry
An area of ancient woodland the size of 16 football pitches in Kent will be destroyed to make way for a ragstone quarry after the government ruled that the commercial benefits of the development outweighed the habitat loss. In a ruling that raises fears for the future of more than 300 ancient woods around the country, local government secretary Eric Pickles yesterday waived through an application to extend a ragstone quarry into the 400-year old Oaken Wood near Maidstone. The resulting deforestation is thought to represent the largest loss of ancient woodland in the UK in the past five years. It would destroy about a sixth of the sweet chestnut coppice, which supports a range of plants and rare animals but is best known for two bat species - the Common Pipstrelle and the Natterer's bat.... "With just 2 per cent of ancient woodland cover remaining, we cannot afford to lose any more," she added, saying that the cover has been steadily declining in the 15 years since her group started recording the woodlands at risk from development.
[Read more stories about: forests, economic myopia, habitat loss, short-term thinking]
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