Court Orders Man To Restore Wildlife Area At Wicken

PUBLISHED: 10:56 06 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:56 04 May 2010

A MAN has been ordered to restore an area of the Cam Washes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) near Wicken after constructing a track and a car parking area through an important wildlife habitat. On June 30, Andrew Lawrence pleaded guilty at Ely

A MAN has been ordered to restore an area of the Cam Washes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) near Wicken after constructing a track and a car parking area through an important wildlife habitat.

On June 30, Andrew Lawrence pleaded guilty at Ely Magistrates' Court, to five offences relating to construction of a 180-metre-long hardcore track, creating a car parking area and destroying an area of wetland habitat which supports ground nesting birds. Magistrates issued Mr Lawrence with a 12-month Conditional Discharge Order.

Magistrates also made an order that the track and car park be removed from the site, to be carried out at Mr Lawrence's expense. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 costs. The SSSI, consisting of a series of low-lying wash land pastures, is nationally important for its numbers and diversity of breeding wildfowl and wading birds including snipe, redshank and teal. The Cam Washes are the third largest area of wash land remaining in Cambridgeshire.

Tim Hill, Natural England's director of regulatory services and access, said: "We are always disappointed by having to bring prosecutions as it means that some of England's most important wildlife has already been lost or damaged. We're pleased that the damage to this precious habitat will be put right and we would expect that any adverse impact on bird survival will be reduced as a consequence. We always try to maintain positive partnerships with owners and occupiers, but we will prosecute when necessary.

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