Letter: Welcome news at Shipley Country Park

NILA LTL Shipley Park
NILA LTL Shipley Park

Having been a resident of Shipley View for many years now, my family and I have enjoyed the open spaces between the estate and Shipley Country Park. When we heard of the plans and subsequent sale of a significant part of this area to Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, we were very pleased.

We are still relieved this land did not go to developers but are very disappointed with the Trust’s management so far.

The area was not tended or worked for the last 50 years or more since the pit closed, so the land was completely wild. Mother Nature decided what wildlife and flora went where, and which flourished.

Since the Trust took control, I believe wildlife has been lost.

Most of the fields have been fenced so we haven’t seen any foxes for about two years. The public has been herded into three or four entrance/exits in these fields, so for nine months of the year, in my view, these gates are mud pits, particularly as most of the work creating these gates is done in winter and requires massive pole-sinking vehicles, creating mud and damage.

In the fields I have previously seen people flying kites, model planes and throwing frisbees. Even teenagers camping.

With the introduction of the cattle this does not happen any more, they are not there all year round but the fields are ruined, in my opinion, being full of cattle droppings and worse, hoof holes.

I have seen a man helping his wife to walk along a public footpath through one of the fields, the holes are that bad. In the top field the wildlife was amazing, hawks used to hover stalking their prey.

There is no prey anymore, I believe it has been seen off by the cattle.

I don’t know what they were but birds used to nest in the long grass, seen off by the cattle. Butterflies used to enjoy the wild flowers, but the flowers have been eaten by the cattle.

At least we have a very expensive viewing tower to look at the place where all the wildlife used to be!

I cannot remember the last time I saw a vole or weasel.

This will probably be read as someone just whining, but the truth is that in my opinion there is significantly less wildlife in this area than before.

I have many more observations to the detriment of this area but I think you understand my feelings.

Steve Lomas,

Shipley View.