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Last Updated: Friday, 18 May 2007, 09:03 GMT 10:03 UK
Moves to protect rare heath birds
Dartford Warbler (picture from the RSPB)
Nightjars, woodlarks and Dartford warblers are found on the heaths
Measures to deter people from visiting protected heathland in Surrey have been brought in to protect birds.

Waverley council wants people to visit Farnham Park and not the Thames Basin Heaths, which are north of Farnham.

"No matter how considerate individuals are, their overall presence affects the birds," spokesman Steve Thwaites said.

Housing developers must ensure increasing the town's population does not lead to more people using the projected heathland.

Mr Thwaites said: "Even though the heaths are outside Farnham, people living in Farnham use them for recreation and walking their dogs."

Woodlarks and warblers

He said improvements were under way at Farnham Park, such as providing increased parking and more signs, so people go there instead.

The council has produced guidance for developers on how to incorporate the Farnham plan into their planning applications.

Forty thousand homes are planned in Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire, near the Thames Basin Heaths over 20 years.

Earlier this year, the RSPB said it wanted to see planning authorities do more to protect the rare heathland birds.

The charity said the heaths were home to rare bird species including the Dartford warbler, nightjar and woodlark.

The building plans cover the commuter towns of Guildford and Woking in Surrey, Bracknell in Berkshire, and Farnborough and Aldershot in Hampshire.

Birds 'still at risk from homes'
27 Feb 07 |  England
Plea to save heaths from housing
21 Nov 06 |  England
New parks 'will help save heaths'
24 Apr 06 |  Berkshire
Building toll on heathland birds
09 Dec 05 |  England
Heathland birds to win protection
08 Mar 05 |  Berkshire

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