Disputed hedgerow at Yew Tree Farm ‘saved’ by discovery of new type of weed fly

Landowners who could not cut part of a hedge when local residents got in the way could be stopped forever, because a species of fly was found there that was not previously known to science. Council chiefs have confirmed to Bristol Live that the granting of special nature conservation status is pending for the field and hedgerow on the western side of the A38 Bridgwater Road in Bishopsworth.

Once it is confirmed, it will be a challenge to do anything that will damage the habitat there. Bristol Live reported on Monday how local farmer Catherine Withers and her supporters from across Bristol set up a makeshift blockade in front of the hedge all day, preventing a contractor hired by the land owner from cutting through part of the hedge to create a new gate. entrance to the field beyond.

Police were called to the scene Monday morning but left after deciding it was a civil dispute, and the standoff continued all day, despite the contractor and property owner’s agent displaying a Bristol City Council letter sent in February, saying they didn’t even need to apply for permission to cut the hedge and create the front door.

Read next: New species of weed fly with unusual genitalia discovered in south Bristol

But it is now known that a different department in the Town Hall has been in the process of confirming the granting of Site of Interest for Nature Conservation (SNCI) status in the field and hedgerow, after local life experts silvestre will request it earlier this year. In February, Bristol Live reported on a potentially remarkable discovery by an expert commissioned by Ms Withers, who owns nearby Yew Tree Farm, to study the insect population in the farm’s field and hedgerows last year.

He found a type of weed fly that was so unusual that it was described as a species that might be new to science, and experts across Europe were consulted to verify exactly what it was. Other rare species were found on the field, and the council is understood to have agreed to the request to convert the field and hedgerow into a SNCI.

This would mean that anyone disturbing it would have to get special permission first. There is a lengthy bureaucratic process from application to confirmation of SNCI status in any field, and Monday’s showdown occurred during this process.


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