Conservationists Say Lovebox Festival Could Endanger London’s Skylarks | Music News

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Conservationists Say Lovebox Festival Could Endanger London’s Skylarks | Music News


Conservationists claim that London’s Lovebox festival could endanger the capital’s last surviving colony of skylarks.


Wanstead Flats is the closest area to central London where the birds can be found, but next year the area could be home to 50,000 revellers descending on the area for the three-day music festival.


It is home to a handful of breeding pairs of skylarks which are among the most endangered in Britain.


The City of London Corporation, which owns the land, has agreed “in principle” that organisers Mama Festivals can use the site next summer.


Conservationists strongly oppose the decision.


A spokesman for east London’s Wren Conservation Group, said: “The remaining, and undamaged, wild areas of Wanstead Flats are fragile and under great stress”.


“Skylarks are just one of many protected and declining species of wildlife that could be put in peril by tens of thousands of party-goers coming to and from the festival”.


The birds nest near Alexandra Lake and activists fear those entering and exiting the arena site from Forest Gate would disturb them.


A spokeswoman for the Corporation said organisers must now apply to Redbridge council, the borough where the flats are situated, for permission to hold the event.


“They will also be required to mitigate against any environmental issues in order for the event to go ahead”, she added.


The Corporation commissioned an ecological impact assessment about the festival, which warned of the need to provide “further consideration” to the needs of wildlife such as butterflies, badgers and bats.


A petition opposing the festival was created by wildlife enthusiast Katherine Gunderson and now has more than 650 signatures.


One of the people who signed it wrote: “Such large-scale events with large vehicles and heavy equipment to erect and dismantle along with the potential for thousands of visitors would do much harm to such a fragile and beautiful place. Why can it not be simply enjoyed for what it is?”



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Lorna O'Brien

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