Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.

I am still trying to obtain planning permission, see topic viewtopic.php?f=1&t=102408

Latest refusal because it MIGHT affect protected birds.

Even input from Russel Savory at Stow Maries had no effect on the planning Committee.

So for the appeal I need some solid evidence. I will be looking for video evidence like this which shows a Goshawk nest in the New Forest.
During the video whilst the chicks are being fed you can clearly hear an aircraft.

Neither my nor their ornocologist can prove beneficial/harmfull effects.

There are plenty of comments that birds can live on airfields with active aircraft movements, but we would say that .

Seeing is believing.

So have any of you video of birds with moving aircraft in the background?

Have you seen anything on the web that could help?

e.g. Found photographs of aircraft and birds taken from a wildlife hide near Barcelona airport. ... -barcelona

I intend to appeal their latest decision but not for a couple of months.
I can send you images of the metal mesh we've had to put around every beam in our hangar to deter the annual invasion of swallows that are wont to take up residence in the hangar(which is on the airstrip) , build their nests and then proceed to sh it all over the aeroplane......

And the annual piles of owl pellets at the back of the hangar.

I'll try and get shots of the wagtails that build in the hangar on alternate years as well as soundtrack of the skylarks in the summer in the crops alongside.

Not to forget the crows/rooks (big black bleeders) that we have to disperse from the strip by a quick run up immediately before departure.

Other wildlife: I've a pic of roe deer in the field alongside but I'm afraid Martin the mole man got the moles last week.

I'll go through my images when I get back from Duxford tomorrow.

I'll try and go camera equipped out of Gloucestershire, the UK's busiest GA airfield and get photos of the buzzards, seagulls and other hazards. I'm far more scared of them than they are of me!
There have been a few "interfaces" and animals were harmed during said encounters. Only a couple though.

Aircraft are rubbish predators, but their fields provide a haven which generates lots of wildlife habitat even at busy fields hares, small mammals, insects and birds are commonplace.
Spooky liked this
For some solid evidence you might consider

Alderney is a mere 3 miles by 1.5 at its widest point and home to an airfield with one tarmac main runway (26/08) and 2 grass runways. The traffic is mostly light piston GA with a commercial service using twin turbine 19 seaters. Significantly more than any farm strip is likely to generate, but by no means continuous take offs and landings. The airport is closed at night, but operates in the hours of darkness in winter.

Looking at the bird list I can state unequivocally that we have seen most of those in the vicinity of the airport and under the circuit and that the gannet colony is beneath final approach to 08 and departure from 26. The only time I have seen birds disturbed by aircraft is when the crows and gulls scatter off the nice warm tarmac to allow for an aircraft to take off or land!

Unlike planning committees birds aren't stupid and quickly learn that aircraft are no threat.
I don't think the real probem is birds, it is the council decision makers. EVEN if you are able to prove this point, they will find another reason to send you back round the loop ad- nauseum.

It is the system that is flawed, in that allows people to make these decisions against you (us). Your real re-course is a planning appeal and then an inspector's decision. Even then you will find its biased against what you want to achieve as the landowner (but perhaps slightly less so), but at least you get a better chance. At this stage you really need someone who is familiar with this type of appeal - Peter Kember's name springs to mind, but I heard he may be retired now.

Good Luck.
Last edited by Flying_john on Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
johnm, Ian Melville liked this
The Planning System is a mess. It should routinely grant planning permission where there's no evidence of harm and not do so where there IS evidence of harm.

If it did that it would grant R Walker's application, where there is no evidence of significant harm and refuse Fairoaks which will grossly increase congestion, pollution and pressure on other infrastructure, where that is already a problem.

The fact that the Planning system does the exact opposite should worry us all.

As a Parish Councillor near Cirencester I have seen this stupidity at first hand. We are in the Cotswolds AONB and twice we've fought the District Council on behalf of locals wanting small scale residential and agricultural/recreational development who were obstructed at every turn by a Council which now wants to build 2500 houses on the fringe of Cirencester, where there's no infrastructure and which increase the size of Cirencester way beyond what's reasonable for a small market town in the Cotswolds. Around half that number would probably be reasonable.

It really is a very badly broken system.
seanxair, Spooky liked this
I visited Perth at the end of June 2015 (lovely airfield :thumright: ). I taxied onto the apron and parked by the hangar near the big blue sign you can see on the doors.
When I was on the apron I saw an Oyster Catcher sitting on the hangar door rails. She had formed a nest out of bits of gravel. If you zoom in on the picture to the left of the sign you will see the bird.


The next day two chicks had hatched. My recollection is that over 80 small aircraft are parked in that hangar and I witnessed several being pushed out of the hangar and starting engines on the apron. It didn't seem to do this family much harm.


mick w liked this
Cannot help with the video evidence you seek but if birds and aeroplanes were so inimical you have to wonder why airports have bird control officers.

Furthermore, if birds were so averse to noisy engine driven things why is it very common to find birds beside roads?

At the regional airport where I used to be based it was not unknown to be given a bird alert by ATC when on Final and back near the hangars you had to be careful walking the grass beside the apron to not tread on the Oyster Catcher nests.

At my present grass strip home base there are Swallows in the hangar but in truth not really a lot of bird activity. But then there is neither more nor less bird activity at the disused wartime field right next door nor in the surrounding fields under cultivation so I would suggest that has more to do with farming practise than light GA flying. Trouble is, farming has clout via the NFU and, sadly, twitchers have a disproportionate amount of clout via the RSPB and the mundane likelihood is that you are up against NIMBY's using the Royal Society as a tool to their own ends.
If the committee are using the phrase "might harm" then the examples here won't turn this into "won't harm".

I'd trawl a few University libraries and look for any reports/papers/ research on the effects of aviation on Wildlife. You might find something specific to GA/small strips. Even better you might find an academic who can help you find papers that support your cause. Most Uni's are helpful at this kind of thing and academics do like to called upon if it is their field of interest.