Farmer told to dig up wildlife haven

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The Independent Online
A man who created a haven for wildlife after being injured in a hunting accident is having to return the area to its former state.

When John Parker, a farmer, almost died in a hunting accident 30 years ago, he vowed to turn his 70 acres at Lower Odcombe, near Yeovil, into a wildlife sanctuary, restoring four 18th-century lakes and, in 1995, constructing a one-acre lake with a dam. But he did not seek planning permission and South Somerset council has said the extra lake is an intrusion and must be dug out. A council spokesman said: "Ironically, Mr Parker has destroyed a marshy wetland area which was more valuable than the lake he created."