Natural England's position in relation to Fineshade Wood

Updated September 2018

Early in 2016, when the Friends of Fineshade and a group of 18 organisations and individuals with environmental expertise, wrote an open letter to Natural England (NE) setting out the case for Fineshade to receive SSSI designation, our MP Tom Pursglove also wrote to the Minister responsible, Lyn Truss, urging the case.

 

She forwarded that letter to James Cross, the Chief Executive Officer of Natural England and he responded as shown below.

 

This letter from the Chief Exe. reinforces the reply that we received earlier from Area Manager, Aidan Lonergan, and it sets out the current position and views of Natural England in relation to Fineshade Wood.

Letter to Mr Tom Pursglove MP

House of Commons

London

SW1A 0AA

 

James Cross

Natural England

Foss House

Kings Pool

1-2 Peasholme Green

York

YO1 7PX

 

24th May 2016

 

Dear Mr Pursglove

I have been passed your letter of 18th April to Liz Truss and she has asked me to reply on her behalf.

 

Fineshade Wood is a wonderful place for wildlife. It forms part of the wider Rockingham Forest which is a very important landscape for nature and the people of Northamptonshire. Natural England is already working with various organisations to look after this rich natural environment.

 

We have been in touch with the Friends of Fineshade over recent years regarding their concerns around the Wood. I attach a copy of a recent response we made regarding potential designation of the site. We have explained that we will place Fineshade Wood on a list of sites for possible further investigation for future designation as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, but due to our existing designations programme for areas, sites and trails, we will not be taking any further action in the short term on investigating it. Designations can take a considerable period of time to progress from investigation and data gathering, through liaison with interested parties and final confirmation depending on the size and complexity of the site.

 

We are already working with partners such as Butterfly Conservation and the Forestry Commission, to improve the management of existing woodlands and through our Countryside Stewardship scheme to help connect these places with new wildlife-rich habitats. Natural England values the work that the Friends of Fineshade and other local groups have done in increasing understanding of the wildlife of the Wood and in protecting it. We are very keen to work with them and others to ensure that the importance of this site within the wider Rockingham Forest area is properly considered by other organisations including the local planning authority. We met representatives of the Friends of Fineshade on 16th May and had a constructive discussion around their concerns for the Wood and our position concerning designation.

 

If you have any further queries ahead of or after your own meeting please do contact our Area Manager, Aidan Lonergan (Aidan.Lonergan@naturalengland.org.uk)

 

Yours sincerely

 

James Cross – Chief Executive Officer

Fineshade Wood is a wonderful place for wildlife. It forms part of the wider Rockingham Forest which is a very important landscape for nature and the people of Northamptonshire. Natural England is already working with various organisations to look after this rich natural environment.

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