Furious Fiskerton residents have called on planners to help save their wildlife haven.

Developer JG Homes, of Bailgate, Lincoln, was refused permission to build 18 homes in The Close at the end of the summer.

The Fiskerton wildlife area and pond was opened by conservationist David Bellamy in 1999.

Although it had become overgrown, residents considered the area to be an important wildlife site.

The area attracted migrating birds, newts and dragonflies.

Now the pond has been bulldozed, and residents say the wildlife has fled.

JG Homes, which owns the land, was refused permission by West Lindsey District Council on the grounds of the site’s environmental significance.

Village resident Ray Ricketts (60) said he felt powerless to stop developers shaping the countryside.

“It used to be a beautiful place that all the villagers enjoyed walking through,” he added.

“They looked at all the different wildlife in the pond and the trees.

“Now it looks like a war zone and there seems to be no protection for us against these developers vandalising the countryside.

“Bulldozers came in and just drove straight through the pond, which completely destroyed it. There has also been a lot of tree clearance, not only the overgrown grass and scrub, but trees have been cut down as well.”

Mark Carpenter (32), who lives just behind the area, in Holmfield, said: “It’s obviously disappointing because it’s destroyed what was there.

“But as long as they’re not actually building on that piece of land they can do what they like.

“Now the pond has gone it cannot easily be replaced.”

The district council put tree preservation orders on 15 trees after the planning application was refused.

Officers have investigated the site and say that none of the trees with orders on them have been touched, so there is nothing more it can do.

However, a spokesman did assure the Echo that clearing the site would not affect any further plans that could be submitted for it.

It is understood the district council sold the site to the developer for about £500,000.

There were originally six empty and derelict homes on the land.

The firm wants to demolish one of them, refurbish the rest and build 18 new properties.

The area has become overgrown since the council put it up for sale about 18 months ago.

Four letters of objection were received by the district council after planning application notices were posted around the village.

Andrew Cooke (38), of High Street, previously told the Echo he was not totally against the development, but that his main concern was the wildlife.

However, Peter Houlden (74), a resident of The Crescent, said he felt housing on the site would make it look much tidier.

He said: “As far as I’m concerned the sooner they get planning permission sorted out and get the housing the better.

“It would make the site a lot cleaner looking.

“The builders have been in and flattened it out and flattened the pond in.

“The only problem was that when they filled the pond in they moved the rats and I’ve seen a few of them coming up The Crescent.”

Parish councillor Henry Lewis (68) said the loss of the pond was “terrible”.

JG Homes declined to comment when contacted by the Lincolnshire Echo.