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A CAMPAIGN has been launched to protect a wildlife oasis from the impact of development.

Residents have come together to form the Save Maybush Copse campaign in response to plans by Orchard Homes to build 25 houses at Maybush Orchard.

The orchard is next to Maybush Copse, Chidham, near Emsworth.

The copse was bought in 2009 by the Chichester Harbour Trust.

Stephen Johnson, from the Maybush Copse Friends, said: ‘This is a long-established orchard and is of enormous environmental value with a wonderful diversity of flora and fauna.

‘Around 50 bird species, amphibians and reptiles including newts, slow worms, toads, frogs, lizard and grass snakes inhabit the area.

‘The two sites together constitute a significant environmental resource, and damage to the one would harm the other.’

Orchard Homes is preparing a planning application to be submitted to Chichester District Council.