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Last Updated: Friday, 4 July, 2003, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
Farmer loses battle against a land order
stone curlew
The number of stone curlews has fallen by 85% in 50 years
A Norfolk farmer has lost a High Court battle to overturn an order making 30,000 acres of land on the Suffolk-Norfolk border a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

English Nature had made the land designation to help protect stone curlews on the land near Thetford.

Stone curlews are extremely rare in the UK, and their numbers have fallen by 85% in the past 50 years.

Patrick Fisher from Kilverstone Hall near Thetford said the SSSI designation would make it difficult to use his own land and would damage land values.

But a judge at the High Court said the Breckland area is of vital importance to the birds' survival and the protection order was in the public interest.

Patrick Fisher has been ordered to pay costs.

He was also refused permission to appeal against the judgement.



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