Cawston Spinney & Cawston Fox Covert

Credit Piotr Krzeslak 

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust has prepared a Woodland Management Plan for Cawston Spinney and Cawston Fox Covert, commissioned by L & Q Estates Ltd.

Woodland Management plan

The plan has been created with a view to being a possible delivery agent of the woodland management on this site, with potential for longer-term management and ownership of the woodland.

This is an area of ancient semi-natural woodland and forms part of a Local Wildlife Site; as such it is a site of county-level nature conservation value.  Long-term management of such sites is crucial to their long-term future survival, continued species diversity and habitat quality. The Woodland Management Plan describes a scheme of woodland restoration, enhancement and subsequent management necessary to ensure that the woodland is safeguarded for future generations as a valued natural capital asset in the local community.

Local plan allocation

The woodland is situated within a strategic development allocation of the Rugby Borough Council Local Plan. The relevant policy in the Local Plan (Policy DS8: South West Rugby) sets out that development proposals must:

Provide a Woodland Management Plan setting out how woodland within the boundaries of the allocation, in particular Cawston Spinney, will be protected from potential adverse impacts of new development, including details of a buffer in accordance with Natural England’s standing advice on Ancient Woodland and veteran trees.

Delivery

The outcome of delivering the Woodland Management Plan will be dependent upon the applicants gaining planning permission and delivering the development; and on the woodland being transferred to the agreed new owner/manager who will implement it.

The Woodland Management Plan must be implemented as set out unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority (Rugby Borough Council). The Trust therefore sees itself as a future manager who would have the woodland and the local community’s interest at the forefront of its agenda - ensuring the woodland's value for people and wildlife is enhanced and managed appropriately.

Planning comments

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust acts as a non-statutory consultee in the Local Plan process, including comments to Local Planning Authorities on specific strategic sites which have potential for impact upon wildlife and wider biodiversity issues.

The Trust provided comments on the draft Local Plan and we will also comment on the planning application proposals as they come forward within that strategic allocation.

The Trust retains the right to positively influence the planning process in this way; this is carried out separately and in line with the overarching aims of the Trust. This planning work is entirely separate from any practical conservation management of Ancient Woodland project as described above.

The Trust will do everything that it can to get the best outcome for wildlife, whether through influencing the planning process or carrying out practical nature conservation on the ground. We therefore continue to engage with partners, and to take opportunities through funded projects such as this one to make sure that we gain as much benefit to nature as possible.