We, the Friends of Southwick Country Park, love animals. But we love animals in the right places and sadly, cats are not good for the Country Park. The picture shows a cat with a bird in its mouth but the range of creatures it can kill is wide. Cats can be really good predators. There is one report of a cat owner counting 10 prey brought home in one night.
So, one of the Friends’ objections to the housing proposed for the Church Lane site is the likely introduction of around 30 cats in the 65 new homes proposed right next to the Country Park. And the developers are proposing two bridges to help the cats get into the park. The developers have shown a real lack of appreciation of the challenge to wildlife of housing.
One way of dealing with the problem would be to keep the cats indoors. This would be cruel to most cats and, in any case, no authority could introduce and enforce any such condition.
If there has to be some development on this land, could it be something that would have less impact on the park than a residential estate, with less dangers for the park’s wildlife.