Objection to development of Ham Wall nature reserve.
There are currently plans to develop Ham Wall nature reserve to include a 200 space car park,toilets,a picnic area,a play area,a visitors centre and a 'discovery walk' taking people right up to the edge of the water with two 'access routes' from the car park straight through the main hedgerow/wildlife corridor. We feel that Ham Wall is a young,but flourishing,nature reserve which is already subject to large numbers of visitors at certain times of year,but is otherwise more peaceful allowing for a good population of wildlife and birds like the Bittern. There is already a good balance between visitors and nature, the RSPB has stated they do not want to actively encourage any further increase in visitors at this time.However we feel that this proposal will do exactly that and to allow Ham Wall to develop to its full potential,with wildlife as a priority,there should be as little interference as possible. There is already a visitors centre for the Somerset Levels and facilities at the Avalon Marshes centre and there is an accessible boardwalk adjacent to the current car park.These are both used by Ham Wall visitors,regardless of whether they are owned by RSPB. We can appreciate the parking issues there have been in recent winters and accept there may be a need for car park expansion.However,we see no need for any further developments which encourage use of the nature reserve as a leisure park.Ham Wall is an attraction in itself as a nature reserve,and should be visited in that capacity,quietly and with respect for the wildlife it has been created to support.