West Sussex County Times

Transformi­ng Our Ecological Future for Generation­s to Come

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Our design for a new green bridge spanning four lanes of the A24 at Buck Barn in Sussex show how, together, we can pioneer ecological change. We know how deeply people care about local wildlife. We have read and listened to the debate. One issue was clear: the A24 is an artificial barrier blocking wildlife access between the rewilding at Knepp Estate and the farmland beyond it.

When the A24 was built, little thought was given to how the road might fragment wildlife and affect biodiversi­ty. But, today, our priorities are very different. This is our opportunit­y to put it right. The Knepp Estate is now a biodiversi­ty hotspot; full of species that are longing to break out into the wider countrysid­e. The green bridge, plus northern edge ecological buffer with no-pedestrian access, will facilitate a better and more sustainabl­e future for plants, birds, insects and wild animals in the area. When built, the strategic vision to create a connected biodiversi­ty corridor from Climping in the South to St Leonard’s in the North will be one step closer to reality.

Sussex is blessed with a rich mosaic of habitats across the county, many rightly protected as Areas of Outstandin­g Natural Beauty (AONB) or Sites of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI). But the land at Buck Barn has no such challenges. That means that whilst meeting nature’s needs, we can also meet the needs of local people in Horsham District. We can ease the burden on local schooling. We can invest in and enhance local infrastruc­ture. We can create a new community for all.

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