Roads, railways and other construction projects can have a major impact on wildlife. This impact takes many forms and includes noise pollution, habitat destruction, fragmentation of species, disruption of natural movement, foraging and migration patterns and road accidents and death. Staffordshire County Council suggests that there are 150 deer injured and killed in road accidents every year just in the Cannock Chase area.
Until relatively recently our impact on wildlife was seen as a necessary consequence of our progress towards faster transport systems and economic advance. However there are improvements which can be made to lessen our impact on nature. These range from green bridges and wildlife tunnels to fencing and accident prevention. There have been some interesting developments recently. In June 2020 the Daily Telegraph reported that £8.5 million had been spent in two years on wildlife passageways. The Knutsford – Bowden bypass features a £1.15 green wildlife bridge. In Kent the A21 features a green bridge at Scotney Castle. In London there is a 25 m wide green bridge at Mile End. These represent a few showcase projects, but they are far from the norm. Natural England and Highways England have transport specialist and ecological advisors that play a role on some new developments, but this is not enough. Safe Passage For Wildlife Campaign believe that there should be a shift in emphasis to make all developers, for a wide range of projects, responsible for identifying their impact on wildlife and building in appropriate measures to lessen this impact, as a required part of the planning process. Landowners should have responsibilities with regard to appropriate fencing when, for example, a badger set, near to a road results in repeated injuries and fatalities. Responsibility for assessing and reducing our impact on wildlife should be the norm and not the exception.
Other countries are significantly more advanced in this regard than the UK. Both Canada and the USA can point to major projects to protect wildlife. In Europe France built the first green bridges in the 1950s but it is Holland which leads the way now with more than 47 ecoducts.
Aims and Objectives
- Raise public awareness of the extent of damage caused to wildlife by construction projects
- Raise local and central government awareness of the extent of the problem
- Investigate the extent of the problem and its impact on different categories of wildlife
- To look at existing constructions such as motorways and railways to determine whether retrospective solutions could be introduced
- To develop a regional network of wildlife groups, raising the profile of this issue with the objective of influencing developers and planners to look for solutions to their impact on wildlife
How can you help?
- Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Start a Safe Passage For Wildlife Campaign group in your area.
- Write to your MP and local Councillors. We can provide a template letter if it will help.
- Share information about our campaign.
- Do you have any fundraising suggestions to support the campaign?
- Help us build a picture of the extent of animal road collisions in your area.
- Report regular accidents to us involving Wildlife – an image is helpful.
- Contact your local council to report animals left dead in the road or by the road side.
- For Badgers injured or dead please also contact Badger Trust
- You can help by slowing down on roads known to be of concern to the local wildlife.
- Animals have families too, many mothers are killed on the road leaving their young behind so reporting is vital for their wellbeing.
JOIN THE TEAM
WE ARE LOOKING FOR WILDLIFE ANGELS!
- Do you care about your local wildlife?
- Do you want to help prevent unnecessary animal road collisions?
- Do you want to see safety measures put in place to help protect wildlife from busy roads?
Be part of a growing network of Wildlife Angels and help us shine a light on a better way for our wild friends.
For more information and to join the team please show your interest via our email address.
Wildlife safety measures can be the difference between life and death for many animals and not forgetting human casualties as well.
Safety measures will help ensure happy animals which then will help prevent habitat fragmentation.
The type of safety measure does depend on the area and the species for eg; an under pass with flowing water would benefit ducks and frogs and other species.
So please support the campaign by doing your bit for the environment and the wonderful wildlife we share our Earth with.
Thank you for your support
Safe Passage For Wildlife Team
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