An area of woodland directly on the route of the Western Link, credit Iain Robinson

NWT reaction to conditional support for Western Link road


Monday 18 May, 2020


Norfolk Wildlife Trust is dismayed to learn that central government support has been given to the Western Link road for the Northern Distributor Road (NDR).

The planned road will link the end of the current NDR on the A1067 with the A47 near to Easton. The landscape here is a well-connected network of habitats that are important for wildlife, including ancient woodlands, grasslands and floodplains. NWT is very concerned about the potential damage by the Western Link to these important habitats and their connectivity.

The Department for Transport (DfT) gave conditional support for Norfolk County Council’s plans for the 3.8-mile Norwich Western Link road on Friday 15 May 2020 as part of its Large Local Majors funding programme. Despite the backing, the road will still need to secure planning permission and no funding has been allocated for the project. But the support does gives the council the green light to proceed to the next stage of the process.

Chief Executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Pamela Abbott said: 
“This decision should not have been made before it can be shown that the likely significant biodiversity impacts will be addressed. We will be looking closely at the information from wildlife surveys that the council is gathering this spring, and will then write to the Department for Transport stressing that it is vital that specific habitat requirements of all wildlife along the route are assessed. We will also attend the future public inquiry to make the case for nature.”

Acting Head of People and Wildlife at Norfolk Wildlife Trust, John Hiskett said:
“We estimate that the western link road will include the permanent loss of between three and four hectares of woodland. The mature trees in this woodland provide features such as holes and bark gaps, which form a key roosting habitat for the local bat population. The rarity of the species present means that these areas of woodland, along with the whole complex of woodland habitats, in the vicinity of the proposed route are likely to be of national importance. 

“It is very likely that the newly created habitat that is proposed in its place will not be of sufficient quantity or quality to support bats and other wildlife displaced from the areas lost to the road. This is exacerbated by the loss of habitat connectivity that will inevitably occur, particularly in the light of the growing evidence from other road schemes that alternatives such as bat bridges, as currently designed, are rarely effective.”

For all our Western Link and Northern Distributor Road stories and information

Share this

Top news stories

2022-01-10 The Fens to benefit from Gover The Fens to benefit from Government funding to kickstart the restoration of peatlands
Monday 10 January, 2022
The Fens East Peat Partnership (FEPP), including Norfolk Wildlife Trust, are excited to announce they have been award...
2021-12-06 Maternity colony for rare bats Maternity colony for rare bats continues to be under threat from proposed road route
Monday 06 December, 2021
Norfolk Wildlife Trust is continuing to object to the proposed “Norwich Western Link” (NWL) and call...
2021-12-02 Birds, bees, and butterflies s Birds, bees, and butterflies suffer as Brexit farming promises broken today
Thursday 02 December, 2021
Rescue rivers, wildlife and climate faster, say three largest nature charitiesToday the Governmen...
2021-11-20 The Wildlife Trusts respond to The Wildlife Trusts respond to the closing of COP26
Saturday 20 November, 2021
As COP26 closes in Glasgow, The Wildlife Trusts say that:UK Government shot itself in the foot prior to COP26 by cutt...
2021-10-29 Ground-breaking new Claylands Ground-breaking new Claylands wildlife project calls on South Norfolk communities
Friday 29 October, 2021
Norfolk Wildlife Trust is embarking on an ambitious new project to restore the "fabric of the countryside" ...
2021-10-15 Norfolk Wildlife Trust announc Norfolk Wildlife Trust announces new President
Friday 15 October, 2021
During yesterday's AGM, Norfolk Wildlife Trust welcomed national journalist and award-winning natural history wri...
2021-10-08 Climate action needs nature. N Climate action needs nature. Nature needs climate action. Neither will succeed if we don't prepare for a changing world
Friday 08 October, 2021
The Wildlife Trusts' COP26 report says it’s time to tackle the twin crises at speed The Wildlife Trus...
2021-08-30 New Chief Executive of Norfolk New Chief Executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust announced
Monday 30 August, 2021
The trustees of Norfolk Wildlife Trust are delighted to announce the appointment of Eliot Lyne as the new Chief Execu...
2021-08-19  Sunflowers power £2 million f  Sunflowers power £2 million for nature’s recovery
Thursday 19 August, 2021
Wildlife friendly farm, which grows wild bird seed, and 100 acres of sunflowers, celebrates raising £2 million ...
2021-07-29 Nearly quarter of a million po Nearly quarter of a million pounds for South Norfolk conservation from government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund
Thursday 29 July, 2021
Norfolk Wildlife Trust has been awarded a grant of £244,400 for an innovative landscape-scale conservation proj...
2021-07-27 Historic reintroduction revers Historic reintroduction reverses extinction of England’s rarest frog
Tuesday 27 July, 2021
The northern pool frog, England’s rarest amphibian, has been successfully reintroduced to Thompson Common in No...
2021-07-15 Rail station wildlife gardens Rail station wildlife gardens to receive stamp of approval from NWT
Thursday 15 July, 2021
Community efforts to boost nature at rail stations are to be rewarded with an official accreditation from Norfolk Wil...