The proposed Burghfield Park housing development could irretrievably damage one of the most important sites in Berkshire for breeding and wintering birds and would reduce the value of the area as a place to enjoy and learn about nature.
Important year-round, the Theale lakes are at their best in Spring, when the Nightingales arrive. The site has one of the densest populations of Nightingales in the U.K. Recently added to the UK’s Red List of most-threatened wildlife, Nightingales are declining rapidly elsewhere in the country, particularly in southern England. Notably however, they have been holding their own in the lower Kennet Valley, whose wetland edge habitat has so far been protected and sympathetically maintained.
The proposed development would threaten a substantial part of the Nightingale population by destruction of their breeding habitat and disturbance from the greatly increased use of the surrounding area by the influx of new residents and their cats and dogs. Disturbance would also adversely impact the great majority of the wetland species using Theale Lake and nearby water bodies, including the adjacent Hosehill Nature Reserve. Click here for more information.