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Last Updated: Monday, 14 August 2006, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Call to save hedges from builders
Dormouse
The councillor fears the loss of the hedgerow could endanger dormice
A Devon councillor is calling for 400 hedgerows to be protected while a 90m gas pipeline is laid in the South West.

The National Grid pipeline is being built from Somerset to link it to a new power station at Plympton, Plymouth.

Roger Giles wants the hedgerows - some 14m long - to stay intact, with the pipeline built underneath.

Caroline Davidson of the National Grid said hedges that are removed would be put back in their original places and monitored for several years afterwards.

She said piles of earth and hedges would be taken out intact and grow back once replanted.

"We will work for several years after we have finished construction of the pipeline to ensure we have done the correct reinstatement."

We will lose the hedge, we will lose the dormice
Roger Giles, East Devon councillor

The pipeline will link to the new power station and supply gas to consumers.

About 400 hedges are expected to be taken out altogether as the pipe is laid.

Sections up to 14m long, seen as wildlife corridors, will be taken up.

Construction 'unnoticeable'

Mr Giles, of Ottery St Mary, east Devon, said it would result in the disruption of hundreds of hedgerows that have been established over centuries.

He pointed to the removal of hazel growing in hedges.

"We have identified dormice as being in some of these hedges that are under threat and the dormice depend on the hazel," he said.

"We are damaging their habitat. We will lose the hedges, we will lose the dormice.

"Is that necessary? The pipeline is going underground, so why can't they build underground?"

The National Grid said the construction would be unnoticeable once complete.




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