The Horrid Consequences of Building

Plymouth "Horrid Ground Weaver" Limestone © Andrew Whitehouse

Within an old limestone quarry in Plymouth an unusual spider is lurking. It is so unique and rare that it has only ever been seen at two sites in the whole world.

The Horrid ground-weaver (Nothophantes horridus) is a species of small money spider with a total body length of just 2.5mm. It is only known from a couple of limestone quarries in Plymouth. The spider’s name comes from the fact that its body is rather bristly – ‘horridus’ is Latin for bristly.

Update Jan 2015: Over 8,800 of you signed our petition to show support for the Horrid ground weaver and ask the Planning Inspectorate to dismiss the planning appeal. Thank you! Buglife submitted this on 20th January 1015. The appeal’s planning inquiry is taking place in January 2015 and a decision is expected sometime in the summer. We hope that the right decision is made over the future of Radford Quarry, for this special spider, and for the other wildlife riches of the site. Thank you for your support and please keep an eye on this page for updates about the progress of the case.

What’s the problem?

One of the quarries has already been built on and now the remaining quarry is under threat from development too. The loss of this last old quarry could drive the Horrid-ground weaver even closer to extinction.

Plans for a housing development have been submitted and although planning permission was refused by Plymouth City Council the applicant is appealing this decision. The site is still under threat.

Not only is the old limestone quarry home to this incredibly rare spider, it is a haven for other bugs and wildlife too. Designated as a County Wildlife Site its rich array of wild flowers feeds hungry pollinators throughout the spring and summer.

What we are doing

This tiny spider is Critically Endangered; we need to defend it as its survival is already hanging in the balance. We need to make sure that this development doesn’t lead to its extinction.

Buglife has objected to the development as it is not possible to mitigate the impacts of the development. The risk to the Horrid ground-weaver is just too great.

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