Air show may take to skies in the summer after all says advisory body

PUBLISHED: 17:39 13 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:39 13 July 2018

The Haven Gt Yarmouth 2018 Air Show.
The Red Arrows.
Picture: Nick Butcher

The Haven Gt Yarmouth 2018 Air Show. The Red Arrows. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

Fears that another Great Yarmouth Air Show will not happen in the summer again appear to have been allayed by a government advisory body.

Little tern chicks are preparing to make their journey to West Africa. Picture: Kevin Simmonds/RSPBLittle tern chicks are preparing to make their journey to West Africa. Picture: Kevin Simmonds/RSPB

The RSPB had raised strong objections to another air show happening in the resort during the little tern breeding season between May and late August.

Its regional director Jeff Knott said that little terns at Scroby Sands had been disturbed by the Red Arrows and it was only by luck that no nests had been deserted.

Mr Knott also said on Thursday that advisory body Natural England had said it had the same objections for another summer show.

But Natural England, which does use enforcement powers as a last resort, says it is still analysing and reviewing monitoring information from last month’s show and will present its view in due course with those involved with the show, which attracted 180,000 people and was organised by the Great Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement District (GYTABIA).

A Natural England Spokesman said: “The decision on location and timing of the Great Yarmouth Show will be entirely a matter for Great Yarmouth Borough Council and the Civil Aviation Authority.

“As a statutory consultee Natural England will, as in the past, provide advice on guidance on any potential impacts to wildlife.

“Our teams are currently reviewing and analysing the monitoring information from this year’s event and we will discuss our view of the evidence with the interested parties in due course.”

After the show GYTABIA commissioned a report into the impact on little terns and it found there was no adverse impact on the rare species of sea bird, which also nest at the dunes at North Denes.

A spokesperson for GYTABIA said: “The GYTABIA Board will be considering all options at its September meeting.”

Mr Knott said: “Up until this moment, Natural England have stated that they would not consent a future Great Yarmouth Air Show during the little tern breeding season. We would therefore be deeply disappointed if they were to change their minds, and support an air show which could have major impacts on our globally important, and legally protected, colonies of breeding little terns.”

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