News Release

Critically Endangered spider saved from planning development

10 June 2015
The Horrid Ground-weaver (Nothophantes horridus)
Photo: Duncan Allen

IUCN is delighted that the petition launched by Buglife-The Invertebrate Conservation Trust to save the Critically Endangered Horrid Ground-weaver from planning development was a huge success! Buglife announced yesterday that this incredibly rare spider has been given a fighting chance of survival, after an appeal to build new houses in an old quarry was dismissed.

The Horrid Ground-weaver (Nothophantes horridus) is a tiny money spider which has only been found in three sites in Plymouth, United Kingdom. One of these sites has already been built on and lost and proposals to build a new development of 57 new houses on the second site, Radford Quarry – also a County Wildlife Site, would have destroyed the spider’s habitat and pushed it closer to extinction. In light of the species’ dire situation, it was assessed as Critically Endangered on The IUCN Red List last week.

Radford Quarry, Plymouth Photo: Rupert GoddardOriginally, the development was refused by Plymouth City Council but the applicant appealed the decision and a planning inquiry took place in January and March. Buglife objected to the development last year, and over 9,700 people signed their petition to save the spider.

Yesterday, the Planning Inspector announced that the case is dismissed, stating that concern over the rare wildlife, Illustration of the Horrid Ground-weaver (Nothophantes horridus) Photo: Fergus McBurneynotably the Horrid Ground-weaver, was the primary reason for rejection. This amazing result will help secure the survival of this amazing creature.

Andrew Whitehouse, Buglife’s South West Manager, said: “What a fantastic result for wildlife. Buglife believe that to knowingly cause the extinction of a species, no matter how small, is morally wrong. We welcome the decision of the Planning Inspector to dismiss the planning appeal and protect this site for nature and for the local community. Thanks to all of our supporters and everyone who signed our petition to save the Horrid Ground-weaver spider.”

 

 

 

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