Fringe Box



Letter: What Are These Unsightly Fences For and Who Is Paying?

Published on: 17 Sep, 2023
Updated on: 16 Sep, 2023

The fences on Pewley Down

From: Jack Bayliss

a Pewley Down volunteer

Can anyone tell the many of us who enjoy walking on Pewley Down:

  1. The real purpose of the unsightly low parallell green plastic fences which have been put in all along it? (I have been told it is to do with local fauna (reptiles and snails) and an impending Thames Water pipe [to serve South Warren Farm, Tyting Farm and on to Shere].
  2. If that is right, how many reptiles is it estimated are involved, what species, and what will happen to them?
  3. Whether the fact that the area was mown just before the fencing was put in is likely to have harmed any of the reptiles?
  4. The cost of the fencing?
  5. Who is paying? (Presumably either Thames Water or us council taxpayers.)
  6. When it is intended that this eyesore will be removed?

Editor’s note: The Dragon will forward this letter to Thames Water requesting a response.

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Responses to Letter: What Are These Unsightly Fences For and Who Is Paying?

  1. jim Allen Reply

    September 17, 2023 at 2:50 pm

    It is quite simple when the trench is dug no spillage of mud and water will pass this point so it keeps contamination to a minimum. (theoretically if installed correctly)
    If it is such a sensitive area I am surprised it is not being ‘moled’ the process of hydraulic insertion of the pipe work without disturbing the ground.

  2. John Harrison Reply

    October 30, 2023 at 10:53 pm

    These sort of plastic fences are part of the construction process aimed it protecting wildlife, and in particular, invertebrates, many of which are declining, if not outright protected species from the construction process and the development itself. The animals are humanely, trapped and relocated. How many survive and how disruptive the process is to the relevant species is insufficiently researched. But, for a cost, met by whoever is responsible for the development, building will proceed.

    In the case of a pipeline, the long-term disruption should be minimal, and hopefully the animals will be returned. In more intrusive development like roads, high-speed, railways, or houses and flats, the long-term effects are greater and permanent, and therefore much more significant, the disruption during construction of which these fences are a small part. Human beings tend to give the short term effects disproportionate attention and worry about the next few years, whereas they should focus more on the few centuries for which the development is likely to endure.

  3. Rupert Millican Reply

    March 3, 2024 at 5:05 pm

    It would have been helpful if the organisation who installed the green plastic sheet fences on Pewley Down also put up an interpretive sign at the same time explaining why – unfortunately, an opportunity to educate the public, and get them onboard with the objectives of this intervention has therefore been missed. Otherwise, to any passer-by, these plastic sheets could be seen as a pointless and unexplained eyesore on what is a local beauty spot and viewpoint enjoyed by many.

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