Chicken farms endangering Shropshire wildlife, says trust
Wildlife is in danger because of emissions from large chicken farms, according to Shropshire Wildlife Trust.
Robin Mager, planning officer at the trust, said the county is the "national capital" for chicken farms.
He said: "Shropshire and Herefordshire are a hot spot, they're the national capital for chicken farms, there's more here than anywhere else in the country.
"Individually they perhaps aren't so much of a problem but because we have so many that's where we get concerns.
"The regulations that govern them aren't up to scratch. Across the border in Wales they have more up to date governance.
"One shed is fine, but one of our concerns is that hundreds of sheds have an impact on the environment, as ammonia will have an affect on the atmospheric deposition.
"Lots of site down wind of the shed will be affected.
"There will be an affect on the rarer species over a period of time."
He added: "Even in the free range sheds there are thousands of chickens, there's quite a lot of atmospheric emissions.
"That will have an affect on the land and water and what we do with all the manure has an affect too, as it is spread all over the fields.
"Shropshire Council is saying it is stuck between two responsibilities as it is the planning authority and has to follow the guidelines that don't quite add up.
"Our concern is that there's obviously an issue here in Shropshire which needs to be looked at."
In recent months planning approval has been granted for a number of large chicken farms.
The Tasley Chicken Factory Farm Action Group has been fighting plans for a 210,000-bird unit in Tasley since it was given the green light.
Meanwhile plans for two poultry buildings to house 100,000 chickens were given the go ahead at Hendre Poeth in Llansantffraid this year.
Planning bosses gave controversial plans for an extra 76,000 birds at a chicken farm the green light this month.
Forge Farm, at Upton Magna, Shrewsbury, applied for the extension which will bring the number of birds up to almost 200,000 - but Upton Magna Parish Council objected to the plans.
Also, a petition against plans for a 200,000-bird chicken farm in Felton Butler has gained 1,000 signatures.