20 September 2013 14:13 PM
Unsurprisingly Sussex Wildlife Trust has weighed in against the planning application to drill an exploratory oil well to a depth of about 2.7km (8,750 feet) at Northup Field about a mile north west of Wisborough Green. The Trust owns Northup Copse, an ancient woodland adjacent to the drilling site. It says it is extremely concerned about the potentially damaging effects of the proposed oil-drilling on the wildlife there.
Petra Billings, the Trust`s Landscapes Projects Officer, writes on its website that no less than six different bat species use the woodland including the rare barbastelle bat which commutes along a flightline north from The Mens nature reserve through Northup Copse on its way to its feeding grounds. She goes on to say that a survey of bat activity levels along the flightline in May 2011 showed an average of 265 bat passes per night along the field boundary just south of the copse. There is also an active badger sett close to the proposed oil-drilling site.
Click here for the full article and here to view the planning application.