Norwich Western Link Road

Woodland on NWL route © Josie Collins

The network of ancient woodlands, grasslands, chalk streams, floodplains and veteran trees in the countryside west of Norwich is home to a host of special wildlife. But plans for a new dual carriageway threatens to cleave these valuable wildlife habitats in two and permanently impact vital habitats.

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The proposed development will fragment this wildlife-rich area, damage the River Wensum Site of Special of Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and destroy parts of three County Wildlife Sites.

The River Wensum is home to both the Globally Endangered White-clawed Crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) and Globally Vulnerable Desmoulin’s Whorl Snail (Vertigo moulinsiana), as well as rich assemblage of freshwater invertebrates including beetles and mayflies.

The proposed dual carriageway has the potential to impact on the water quality of a special chalk stream, with major roads a significant source of pollution from run-off and deposition from the air.

The patchwork of remaining ancient woodlands and grasslands in the area support specialist invertebrates including nationally rare and scarce species such as the Tanner Beetle (Prionus coriarius), Cone-horn Cranefly (Ctenophora pectinicornis) and the Five-banded Weevil-wasp (Cerceris quinquefasciata).

Cone-horn Cranefly (Ctenophora pectinicornis) © Steven Falk

The controversial Norwich Western Link Road will not just directly replace habitats, but fragment them, making it harder for wildlife of all kinds to move across the landscape. It ploughs through the UK’s largest known super colony of the rare Barbastelle Bat (Barbastella barbastellus), separating them from the fields and marshes where they feed.

Buglife is working with a coalition of conservation partners, led by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust calling on Norfolk County Council to withdraw their plans.

Please support our efforts by:

signing and sharing this petition, already signed by nearly 18,500 people.

Native White-clawed Crayfish © John Mason

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