In May of 2017, water voles (Arvicola amphibius) were identified by Wiltshire’s Countryside Team as resident in Lambrok Stream. Water voles are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. They are protected against:
. . .intentional killing, capture or injury and intentional or reckless disturbance, obstruction, damage or destruction of their burrows.
The scarce chaser (Libellula fulva), identified and photographed in the park this year, is listed in Category 3 of the British Red Data Book for Invertebrates. We do not have evidence, yet, that they are breeding in the park but Steve Covey, Wiltshire’s Recorder for Dragonflies and Damselflies, has suggested that the park is a maturation site where newly hatched adults come to feed before returning to the Avon where they are known to breed.
The Joint Nature Conservation Committee, a statutory adviser to UK Government, says that Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) can be notified if they include the presence of:
RDB Rare species, northern emerald Somatochlora arctica, scarce chaser Libellula fulva, and southern damselfly Coenagrion mercuriale.
and, furthermore, that:
Site boundaries should include the semi-natural terrestrial habitats used for feeding and resting, as well as the breeding sites.
Despite this, our water voles, scarce chasers and opposite leaved pondweed are not protected by any designated status or specific legislation. FoSCP has been asking Wiltshire Council, as the owners of Southwick Country Park, to apply to Natural England for Local Nature Reserve status for some years; this has not been done.
The Lambrok’s biota, after years of care by the Countryside Team and the Friends, is becoming exceptional; its importance should not be sacrificed to the expediency of the county’s housing plans.
More about housing plans: