Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden rejects plans to allot 700 plots as police order stop work

Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden has slammed plans for a huge new allotment near Bristol. The contractor released a statement on social media following a visit to the Roots site in Abbots Leigh, where it is converting a large field near the entrance to Leigh Woods into a 700-lot allotment plot.

She wrote: “Britain is severely depleted by nature and we should all be worried because if nature fails, so do we. We’ve lost 97% of our grasslands in the last 100 years, and the creatures that depend on them are at huge risk. .

“This makes every meadow, no matter how small, extremely important and we cannot continue to destroy them bit by bit. While providing allotments is a great idea, it needs to be in appropriate areas, enhancing, not depleting, local nature.”

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Those against the scheme have been fighting the plans for almost two years. The application for the field transformation work was approved by North Somerset Council last year. This week, Avon & Somerset Police ordered a cease and desist work on part of the 25-acre site.

The police force confirmed that action had been taken, saying: “Following reports that nesting larks had been disturbed, officers from our rural crime and neighborhood policing teams visited the grounds in Abbots Leigh.

“They were joined by an independent ecologist who, during a survey, found evidence of nesting larks. Destroying or damaging these nests would be contrary to section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. A stop work notice was issued on Monday 13 May requiring construction to stop on a section of the site until 31 August.”