Pro­posed gyspy site stopped by a rare flower

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

AC­TIVISTS reckon they’ve found a se­cret weapon to keep gyp­sies away from their homes…the BOG PIM­PER­NEL!

Cam­paign­ers say the pres­ence of the rare marsh­land plant means coun­cil plans to build a trav­eller site in Maulden, Beds, are now a non-starter.

The lo­ca­tion is one of 35 pos­si­ble ar­eas that Cen­tral Bed­ford­shire Coun­cil has ear­marked to host gypsy and trav­ellers.

Now pro­test­ers in Ampthill and Maulden are hope­ful they may win their bat­tle to stop the devel­op­ment thanks to the creep­ing plant.

Cen­tral Bed­ford­shire Coun­cil­lor and Ampthill Town Mayor Paul Duck­ett said “There is a lot of wildlife grow­ing on this land and the Bog Pim­per­nell only flour­ishes in wet lands such as this.

“I be­lieve this to be the only place in Bed­ford­shire where it grows.

“There are 35 sites that have been pro­posed, some of which are pri­vately owned and oth­ers which are owned by the coun­cil. Aside from the plant, this site is a sen­si­tive piece of land.

“There has been Ro­man arte­facts found on it and there are two Anglian Water pipes that pump fresh water to Bed­ford­shire and Lu­ton.”

Bog Pim­per­nel, also known as Ana­gal­lis tenella, grows in damp habi­tats in Eura­sia. It had been more com­mon in east­ern coun­ties of Eng­land prior to the drainage of land.

Cen­tral Bed­ford­shire Coun­cil­lor Nigel Young, who is the ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber for sus­tain­able com­mu­ni­ties, strate­gic plan­ning and eco­nomic devel­op­ment, said “We have re­ceived rep­re­sen­ta­tion about this is­sue with oth­ers from in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions.

“We are log­ging all of th­ese and each piece of feed­back will be con­sid­ered as part of the wider plan­ning process.”

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