Environment Protection - Who Has Responsibility?
Although we would say that Cornford Lane should be closed on safety grounds alone, the loss of hedgerows and their importance to wildlife has been repeatedly stated as an area of national concern.
The importance of hedgerows and their conservation has been repeatedly highlighted by both KCC and TWBC, in part through the Kent Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). In fact, hedgerows “are a specific UK BAP priority habitat valued in Kent for their nature conservation importance” click here to go to full document.
The classification of Cornford Lane’s ancient hedgerows as “intact hedgerow, species rich” in the 1995 Kent Wildlife Habitat Survey, and the fact that KCC is one of the “lead agencies in Kent for habitat and species action plans” (The Kent Biodiversity Action Plan 1997, c/o KCC), suggest that KCC is serious about preserving the flora and fauna of Kent. However, this is contradicted by the failure to protect Cornford Lane’s hedgerows from heavy traffic flow, unsuitable vehicles and the resulting continued damage to the hedgerows.
In case there is any doubt whether KCC or TWBC has authority or responsibility to protect the intact species rich hedgerows of Cornford Lane, The Countryside and Rights of Way Act (2000 c. 37), part 1, chapter II, Section 26; Nature Conservation and Heritage preservation states that “The relevant authority may by direction exclude or restrict access with…the purpose of conserving flora, fauna or geological or physiographical features of the land in question”.