Activists launch plea as secret camera films deer on former golf course set to become homes
Footage showing a majestic muntjac deer feeding in the woods has been captured at a former Black Country golf course set to be cut down for housing. The deer can clearly be seen wandering through the leaves and branches of the former Brandhall golf course in Oldbury, which is at the center of a contentious row over redevelopment plans.
The golf course – an 18-hole facility run by Sandwell Council – closed in May 2020 after the authority said it was costing taxpayers £275,000 a year to operate. Plans have been proposed to build 550 homes and a new school on the site, but have sparked fury locally, with protesters calling for the space to be preserved for families and wildlife.
Now footage of the muntjac deer, which was captured by secret cameras on Friday, has been shared by Friends of Brandhall, who campaign to save green space and say it proves the area is a haven for wildlife . They also shared images of badgers on the site.
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The group said on Twitter: “Clear images of a young muntjac deer on Brandhall green space (former golf course in Sandwell). This site is for redevelopment for housing…please, help us!” Muntjac deer are commonly found in central and southern England, having been introduced in the 20th century and, according to the Wildlife Trust, are “notorious browsers, eating the shoots of shrubs, as well as woodland grasses and brambles”.
Residents are waiting for the borough council to release the results of a consultation on the controversial plans. Bosses said it needed “some more technical study” before that happened.
The Brandhall Green Space Action Group, made up of residents from Old Warley, Langley and Bristnall, campaigned to keep the land available to locals and to stop urban development on the land. Resident and group member Stephen Peugh has previously told us: “This place is beautiful and I’m surprised Sandwell Council wants to redevelop it. If they do then our nearest green space will be a few miles away. there, which means there will be residents here who will struggle to enjoy their local parks or nature reserves.”
Conservative Councilor Jay Anandou, who set up the action group, said: “This golf course has 37 hectares of pristine green space and is home to habitat for bats, freshwater prawns, newts , over 30 varieties of birds, badgers and the very headwaters of the River Tame.Local residents are against any development in this greenery which goes against all the promises the council has made on promoting conservation. wildlife and the fight against climate change.