Mini nature reserve at Coldingham

I would like to bring to your readers’ attention this planning application for a 12 cabin development at Milldown, Coldingham.

It will be bordered by some local footpaths, and will be in clear view of seven local paths in total.

It will be seen from a viewpoint layby as well.

Unlike other caravan sites in Coldingham, this site will also be seen from a considerable length of the coastal path when walking south from St Abbs Head.

In order to give access to the site, an adopted road is to be widened and upgraded.

This road was the original access for Col Mill from Coldingham Priory.

The road is illustrated on maps dated 1858, which shows the existing hedge which will have to be removed in part, if not in total, to widen the road, as the road is next to a stream on the other (southern) side.

This road has been largely unused by vehicular traffic for the last 25 years, as a new easier route was developed for farm and delivery vehicles to the east.

The old road, as well as being a sheltered traffic free route for walkers to access the coastal path and beach, has also become a haven for wildlife. The flora and fauna I have seen is listed below.

Agrimoney, bind weed, birdsfoot, bistort, bluebells, borrage, burdock, buttercup, butterbur, pink campion, white campion, cats ear, celandine, clover, comfrey, cow parsley, cranes bill, creeping jenny, daffodils, daisy, dandelion, dock, fat hen, feverfew, forget me not, fumitory, giant hogweed, goats beard, golden rod, good king henry, goose grass, goosefoot, grasses various, ground elder, ground ivy, hemlock, lingwort, mallow, meadow sweet, mimonette, mullein, monkey flower, mustards, nettles various, plantain, primroses, purple loose strife, ragwort, ransoms, sanquefoil, saxifrage, shepherds purse, snowdrops, solomon’s seal, sorrel, sow thistle, speedwell, spurges, stichwort, tansy, teasel, thistle, toadflax, trefoils, vetch, watercress, wild angelica, wild carrot, garlic, willow herb, wood sorrel, woundwort, yarrow.

Trees: Ash, beech, blackthorne, bramble, elder, field maple, gorse, hawthorne, ivy, sycamore, wild rose, wild plumb.

Birds spotted from the road: Recent arrivals - mallard; Regular visitors - heron; sparrowhawk; kestrel; barn owl; yellowhammer; blackcap; pied wagtail; wren; buzzard; tree creeper; blue tit; great tit; coal tit; long tailed tit; blackbird; greenfinch; goldfinch; greater spotted woodpecker; chaffinch; chiffchaff; pheasant; partridge; robin; pigeon; crow; siskin; magpie; swallow; swift; housemartin;

Declining species regularly seen (all on red or amber alert): skylark; willow warbler; whitethroat; tree sparrow; mistle thrush; song thrush; grey wagtail;tawny owl; dipper; dunnock; bullfinch;

Unusual visitors: kingfisher, yellow wagtail.

The numerous current animal inhabitants include voles, bats and shrews.

The site is on an animal highway used by brown hares (classified as a priority species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and beginning to populate the area), deer, foxes and badgers, to avoid the human habitation at Milldown, Coldingham and Coldingham Sands.

Stoats and weasels thrive on the resident rabbit population.

I am not an expert on insect life, but there is a considerable variety, and last year I saw dragonflies and damselflies for the first time.

All of this wildlife will be either disturbed or destroyed by this development.

This area is a miniature nature reserve in its own right, and deserves protection to allow future generations to enjoy it.

Your readers may wish to add their voices to those who have already made comments on this proposal.